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Portland, Oregon

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Solar Forward campaign announces founding donors, new site

Tuesday Dec. 3, 2013


Christine Llobregat
City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Solar Forward campaign announces founding donors, new site

Oliver P. Lent Elementary School slated as next location to receive solar panels in 2014

Portland, Ore. — Mayor Charlie Hales today hosted representatives from Portfolio 21 InvestmentsPortland Development Commission, SolarWorld, Umpqua Bank and Wells Fargo to acknowledge their early financial support of the City of Portland’s Solar Forward Fund, a crowdsourcing campaign designed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

As founding members of the Solar Forward Fund, these organizations have together provided more than $20,000 to lead the way on a tax-free, crowdsourced green energy fund to support the installation of solar infrastructure at some of Portland’s most beloved public sites, including community centers, libraries and schools. The City of Portland will continue to raise money for the fund from individuals and organizations, and once $50,000 is reached, the City will install photovoltaic (PV) panels at Portland Public School’s Oliver P. Lent Elementary School in Portland’s Lents neighborhood. Additional sites in Portland will be announced prior to future fundraising cycles.

“Portland Public Schools is proud to partner with the City of Portland’s Solar Forward campaign. We welcome the opportunity to work together within this innovative framework to continue maximizing operational and energy efficiencies while also promoting renewable energy development. We believe this demonstrates to our students and community our commitment to being both good citizens and environmental stewards,” said C.J. Sylvester, chief operating officer of Portland Public Schools.

The Solar Forward Fund offers community members a new way to support clean, local renewable energy systems on public buildings like community centers, schools and libraries. Community solar offers an opportunity for people to support solar installations that benefit the community.

“In Portland we have chance for the first time to join as an entire community and put solar on some of our most beloved public spaces, said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “Joining us in this community solar campaign is both a simple gesture and a powerful expression of our shared future. It's a way for all of us to show that there are still places in the world that value community above self.”

Renewable energy provides benefits to the community, from maintaining healthy air to the economic opportunity created for Portland’s small businesses and workers. All contributors to the Solar Forward Fund receive permanent recognition at the host site and reduce global warming pollution while proving a new model for community energy production.

“It's a way to support the places we love and invest in the future,” said Susan Anderson, director of the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “And, it's a point of pride. Solar is one of the world’s most visible markers of innovation, sustainability and progress.”

Visit to learn more about the project and to make a tax-deductible gift.

Project history

BPS was awarded grant funds from the Oregon Community Foundation's Penstemon Fund in the amount of $100,000. This generous grant funded the installation of a 10-kilowatt solar electric system on Portland Parks & Recreation's Southwest Community Center and helped establish Solar Forward, Portland’s first revolving community solar fund.

Project partners include Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Public Schools and Solar Oregon.


About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Through partnerships and collaboration, BPS provides: Citywide strategic and comprehensive land use planning; neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental research, planning and urban design; policy and services to advance energy efficiency, green building, waste reduction, composting and recycling, solar and renewable energy use, and local sustainable food production; as well as actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.