Solar Beaverton extends discount program for residential solar panels

by: Submitted photo Homeowners do not need to live in Beaverton to participate in 80 percent-off residential solar systems.

It's not too late to go solar in Beaverton.

The Solar Beaverton program and the city's solar energy partners, LiveLight Energy and SolarWorld, announced Thursday that they are extending the deadline for homeowners to sign up to have solar panels installed to generate electricity in their homes.

The city had hoped to have 220 Beaverton homes lined up for the program by the beginning of June, but decided to extend the enrollment period to Aug. 1.

The extension of this community discount program for photovoltaic (PV) home systems has been restructured into a "Safe Harbor" program for Oregon state tax credits.

The new deadline accommodates unforeseen demand, said Mara Woloshin of LiveLight Energy. To date, more than 400 homeowners have applied for free site assessments.

Of those applicants, 280 homes have met requirements to qualify for tax credits; 82 homeowners are waiting for site assessments and contract proposals; and 27 participants have signed contracts and are in the installation process, Woloshin said.

Extending the enrollment period to August will allow those interested in participating in the program to get their free solar assessments, learn what energy-saving options are available to them, go through the permitting process and get their system installed by a mid-October deadline to qualify for the 2011 Residential Energy Tax Credit.

With the new Safe Harbor program, homeowners do not need to live in Beaverton to participate. To sign up and for a listing of free Solar Beaverton community events, visit .

The Solar Beaverton program uses a negotiated discount price for residential solar panel arrays from LiveLight Energy, which was selected as the city's contractor for the project.

Combined with Energy Trust of Oregon incentives, federal and state energy tax credits; the price for a locally made system is reduced by an average of 80 percent, Woloshin said.