About Solar

Is Solar Electric Viable in Oregon?


  • Yes, in fact, the Willamette Valley receives as much solar energy annually as the US average.
  • PV modules operate on those cloudy and overcast days. You can get a nasty sunburn on the overcast days.
  • PV modules become less efficient as the temperature gets hotter. Oregon’s cooler climate helps make up for the cloudy days.
  • Oregon has some of best incentives and tax credits offered today.


Germany, the Worlds largest installed base of PV modules:


  • Germany’s installed base of photovoltaic modules is larger than any other country in the world. Germany is at the same latitude as Washington State and Southern Canada.
  • Berlin receives less solar energy than the cloudiest location in Oregon, Near Astoria.

How is the USA doing:


USA Germany
Population = 309,600,000 Population = 81,757,000
MW installed in 2009 = 475 MW installed in 2009 = 3,000
Solar Potential = 3.0 (Alaska) to 6.8 (Southwest) Solar Potential = 3.0 (kWh/m²/Day)


Resource from SIEA.org   http://www.seia.org/galleries/default-file/PVMap_USandGermany.pdf


Solar Electric 101, How Photovoltaics Work:


PV technology converts sunlight directly into electricity. Electrons within the semiconductor silicon wafer are excited by particle of light, photons, and these free electrons are then drawn from the surface of the PV cell via interconnect wires. The more sunlight striking the PV cell, the more electricity produced. Current commercial PV module technology can extract from 12-18% of sunlight to electricity. By connecting multiple cells into module and modules into arrays, a system can be designed to fit a desired output and area. Since all household and business appliances and lights operate on AC, the PV system DC output must be converted to AC. This is the job of the inverter and these are sized to the PV array output. The inverter output can then be used by AC appliances or connected through a home or business’ power meter in a grid-tied connection. Grid-tied connections are most common and afford the highest return to the owner as they qualify for utility incentives as well as State and Federal tax credits. Refer to the diagram below for a picture of how a grid-tied PV system operates within a home.