Oregon groups get $7M for solar pilot

Eight agencies from around the state learned Thursday that they will collectively receive nearly $7 million for two pilot programs to install solar panels on homes and implement other sustainability and energy efficiency improvements.

The money for Oregon is part of $120 million coming from the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Program to expand efforts around the country.

The following agencies will participate in the solar photovoltaic pilot:

• Aging Community Coordinated Enterprise & Supportive Services — or ACCESS — based in Medford

• Community Action Team of St. Helens

• Community Services Commission of Corvallis

• NeighborImpact of Redmond

• Oregon Coast Community Action Agency of Coos Bay

• Oregon Human Development Corporation of Portland

• United Community Action Network of Roseburg

• Yamhill Community Action Partnership of McMinnville

In addition, ACCESS will work on a broader project that will include installation of high-performance hot water systems, triple-pane windows, radiant heat barriers, solar hot water heaters and other technologies.

The DOE reports that 3,719 Oregon homes have been weatherized between January 2009 and June 2010 using stimulus funding in addition to the department's regular weatherization program funding.

In January, Oregon's Department of Energy landed $6.5 million in recovery act funding for efficiency programs. In April, the state's Clean Energy Works program received a $20 million federal grant.

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