The National League of Cities will showcase the Solar Beaverton program at its conference in Phoenix on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
The city of Beaverton program will be highlighted as one of six 'green cities' in the nation recognized for its creative collaborations, increased efficiency and enhanced quality of life for residents, said Cindy Tatham, the city's sustainability coordinator.
In an effort to inspire other cities to further explore renewable energy use, city representatives, including Mayor Dennis Doyle, will discuss Solar Beaverton's implementation strategy, its successes and lessons learned along the way.
Launched in March 2010 as a pilot program to gauge citizen interest in solar power, the Solar Beaverton pilot surpassed its goal of 50 installations with 62 homeowners installing solar panels. More than 400 additional residents inquired about the program, and a solar demonstration project was set up at the Beaverton Farmers Market, across from the Beaverton City Library.
The level of interest motivated city leaders to launch a citywide program for 2011 to continue to promote installation of solar technology and promote renewable energy while supporting local jobs and manufacturing in the community.
City officials credit Solar Beaverton with creating 12 local, living-wage jobs and increasing solar activity dramatically.
'This program is a shining example of how sustainability can create local jobs, generate revenue and help move our community towards a better future,' Doyle said.
The goal of Solar Beaverton is to install 220 systems on homes by the end of this year, the largest one-time solar program goal in the state, Tatham said. Through bulk purchasing, Energy Trust incentives and federal and state tax credits, the program can reduce Beaverton residents' installation costs by 80 percent.
'Solar Beaverton is not just about installing solar panels,' Doyle added. 'It's about collaboration with citizens, the private and public sectors, and local business to do something great for the economy, our environment and our community.'
The National League of Cities represents 19,000 municipalities and is one of the largest and longest-running U.S. organizations dedicated to strengthening cities as 'centers of opportunity, leadership and governance,' according to league officials.