Wallowa County, Wallowa
Nonprofit Leads County to Invest in Renewable Energy
Wallowa County has weathered hard times, including the contraction of the timber industry and fluctuations in the tourism industry. Today, grassroots initiatives strengthen the local economy by keeping energy dollars close to home. Spearheaded by Wallowa Resources, a local nonprofit, residents are heavily invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Wallowa Lake County Service District’s new hydropower facility uses water from Wallowa Lake to generate 134 megawatt hour of clean energy annually. The project was developed in partnership with Wallowa Resources with $80,000 from Energy Trust and funding from Pacific Power’s Blue SkySM customers.
Wallowa Resources also received a $10,000 Energy Trust solar innovation grant to put solar panels on the roof of an affordable housing project, Park Street Solar. The project brings solar access and financial benefits to lower-income occupants.
Wallowa Resources has more projects in early stage development: a 2-MW community solar system; a countywide energy plan; and an outreach plan to help landowners modernize irrigation piping, reduce energy costs and generate hydropower.
“Renewable energy contributes to energy independence and ecosystem health, supporting businesses and jobs in rural areas,” said Matt King, energy program manager at Wallowa Resources.