Northwest US Foundation Helps Solar Projects with Green Tags

The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and the Northwest Renewable Energy Cooperative (NWREC) recently announced a new partnership and a three year purchase commitment for green tags from new small solar installations throughout Oregon and Washington. As many as 30 small solar installations on homes and businesses are included in the first phase of the project.

PORTLAND, Oregon – April 22, 2002 [] “The Foundation is deeply committed to increasing the amount of new Renewable Energy in the system,” said Robert Harmon, Vice President of BEF. “This collaboration with the Cooperative will help drive down the costs of installing and operating small solar systems in the Northwest while spurring new solar by committed individuals and businesses.” The agreement between BEF and NWREC calls for the cooperative to sign agreements with the owners of new photovoltaic systems and pay the system owners 10 cents per kilowatt hour for the environmental attributes – or green tags- produced by the solar systems. BEF will in turn purchase the Green tags for resale to its wholesale customers and on its Web site. “This commitment from BEF will allow us to bring costs down for people who are committed to solar and want to install it on their homes and businesses. As more and more people sign up to buy green tags from BEF, we will be able to support more systems,” said Doug Boleyn, Manager of NWREC.” Green tags represent the offset in emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants that occur when Renewable Energy replaces traditional forms of power generation. All BEF green tags come from new wind and solar resources. The net revenue generated from selling green tags is reinvested in additional new Renewable Energy projects. “Solar energy, while a wonderful renewable source of power, is still somewhat expensive when compared to wind energy or polluting fossil fuels,” said Harmon. “With solar green tags, we can support those individuals who need a little extra revenue to make their solar systems affordable.” Rachel Shimshak, Executive Director of the Renewable Northwest Project called this new model, “an innovative way to help reduce the cost of installing new solar systems in the Pacific Northwest.” Tom Starrs, president of Schott Applied Power, a provider of engineered solar systems, commented that this agreement “is typical of the creativity that BEF is bringing to the market for environmentally preferred power. By enabling the owners of solar electric systems to capture the additional value associated with generating clean, green renewable electricity, BEF is making solar energy affordable for many Americans.”

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