Oregon Army National Guard Celebrates Solar Energy Milestone

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden toured the solar electric system at Pendleton Army Air Support Facility #2, which is a key component to Oregon Army National Guard’s effort to achieve net-zero energy use by 2020. Net-zero energy occurs when a building or facility’s annual energy consumption is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on-site.

 
Sen. Wyden, Colonel Ken Safe, Oregon Sen. Bill Hansell and community leaders from Pendleton recognized the one-year milestone with a tour of the system and the Guard’s facilities.
 
Oregon is the first National Guard in the nation to enroll in the U.S. Department of Defense Net Zero Initiative, a national program designed to help military facilities produce enough energy to meet their needs. Oregon Army National Guard will expand the program to encompass its 48 sites and 3.4 million square feet of building area across the state. The Net Zero Initiative recognizes that energy consumption and renewable generation can be critical factors to mission success.
 
“Improving energy efficiency throughout the Oregon National Guard’s facilities makes sense for the economy, the environment and for national defense,” Sen. Wyden said. “This project in Pendleton stands out as a fantastic example of what can be achieved in the frontier of renewable energy manufacturing, and will make a marvelous example of what I will be advocating for in the coming months in Congress as a member of the conference committee on the energy bill.”
 
The Pendleton Army Air Support Facility’s 150-kilowatt solar project was designed and built by McKinstry using local contractors and SolarWorld panels made in Hillsboro. Energy Trust of Oregon and customers of Pacific Power’s Blue SkySM program provided financial support.
 
Betsy Kauffman, Energy Trust renewable energy sector lead, presented Colonel Safe with a ceremonial check representing the $84,319 Energy Trust incentive for the solar system. “The military has long been a leader in smart energy policies,” said Kauffman. “Those who wear the uniform know that mission success depends on secure, uninterrupted access to energy, water and other natural resources. We are proud to support this groundbreaking work that sets the standard for the rest of the nation’s National Guard Net Zero Initiative efforts.”
 
The Oregon Military Department carried out extensive energy-efficiency and renewable energy improvements to advance its Net Zero Initiative goals. Working with Energy Trust on more than 50 projects, the department installed efficient lighting, heating and cooling upgrades at facilities and armories in Medford, Salem and Clackamas, and is working toward net-zero energy use at large facilities such as Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Ore.
 
Oregon National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation is one of the units attached to the project at the Pendleton Municipal Airport. Sixty soldiers from the 1-168th Aviation are currently deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. In 2015, the unit provided helicopter support for wildland firefighting efforts.
 
Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $2.3 billion on energy bills.
 
Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.