January 2019 Newsletter

Legislative and Policy Updates

The Oregon Legislature is in session, and the Oregon Department of Energy is busy presenting on our Biennial Energy Report, changes to Oregon's energy system, and Senate Bill 38. 

For the second presentation – changes to Oregon's energy system – ODOE Director Janine Benner had 10 minutes to summarize some of the biggest trends affecting our state. She focused on three: decreasing costs of clean energy technologies, results from policies that have advanced renewable energy and energy efficiency, and Oregon's commitment to decarbonizing energy. You can watch Janine's presentation on the House Energy & Environment Committee website

As for Senate Bill 38, ODOE introduced the bill to clarify that thermal renewable energy certificates are eligible compliance instruments for the Renewable Portfolio Standard and subject to the same requirements and uses as all other renewable energy certificates. The bill passed out of committee on Wednesday. Read more about ODOE's work on the Renewable Portfolio Standard

Meanwhile, our agency has been hard at work on directives included in Governor Brown's Energy Efficiency Executive Order. Earlier this month, we announced the completion of a new state plan to improve energy efficiency in affordable housing. Completed in partnership with our sister state agencies, the plan recommends steps to reduce the energy burden on low-income households. 

We're tracking other directives from the Executive Order on our website, so visit often to stay on top of our progress. 

Biennial Energy Report

The web-based version of the Biennial Energy Report continues to evolve. We're adding to the county-specific information with quick highlights and energy-related facts. As noted above, Director Benner recently presented to the House Committee on Energy & Environment on the Biennial Energy Report. Her presentation, which offers a great introduction to the lengthy report, can be found here

New Biogas Facility


Earlier this month, Director Benner joined the City of Salem, Portland General Electric, Energy Trust of Oregon, and others to celebrate the groundbreaking for an upgraded 650 kilowatt cogeneration facility at the Willow Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant

The cogeneration plant produces heat and power from biogas, which is a byproduct of the plant’s wastewater treatment process. The existing system is older and no longer large enough to process the amount of biogas the plant produces. ODOE is supporting the City of Salem’s system upgrade with a $250,000 Renewable Energy Development Grant.

Reports From Around the Agency

  • Ken Niles, Assistant Director for Nuclear Safety and Emergency Preparedness, was at Linfield College on January 22 for a presentation on Hanford cleanup. The presentation came not long after ODOE submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Energy on a proposal to reclassify hazardous waste. Read our letter and learn more about the proposal on our blog

  • Yesterday, members of the Energy Facility Siting team were in Boardman for a Rulemaking Advisory Committee meeting focused on issues specific to siting solar photovoltaic facilities

  • Our latest episode of Grounded is an interview with Stu Green, the City of Ashland's Climate and Energy Analyst, on solar energy and virtual net metering.

  • Oregon's Energy Facility Siting Council expects to have two vacancies beginning in July 2019. Volunteer EFSC members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate to review and oversee large-scale energy facilities. For more information, read more about EFSC's important role in the state, then reach out to Todd Cornett, Energy Facility Siting Division Manager and Council Secretary. 

  • ODOE recently announced that Oregon nonprofit Earth Advantage will serve as the statewide implementer for Oregon's Home Energy Scoring program. Read about how and why Earth Advantage was chosen and how the organization will be helping to expand home energy scoring across the state. 

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Electric Vehicles

ODOE staff were out talking about the benefits of electric cars at the Portland International Auto Show last weekend. Surrounded by the latest and greatest all-electric and hybrid electric cars and SUVs on the market, ODOE staff shared information about at-home charging, charging stations (including a cool new app!), battery ranges, and incentives and resources available to Oregonians. If you missed the Auto Show, all this information and more can be found on the state's Go Electric Oregon website.  

Climate Change

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ODOE Senior Policy Analyst Lesley Jantarasami presented to Salem Environmental Education's Science Pub on January 22. Her talk focused on the health effects of climate change. Jantarasami serves as the liaison to the Oregon Global Warming Commission, which last month released its 2018 Biennial Report to the Legislature, and this month has been busy presenting to the Legislature

Upcoming Meetings

Energy Facility Siting Council | February 21-22 | Location TBA

Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board | March 11-12 | Hood River


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