Oregon to Receive $9.5 million in Recovery Act Funds for Energy Projects
More than $1.7 million will help expand the Oregon Solar Highway Project
(SALEM) — The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that Oregon will receive more than $9.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding to support energy efficiency and conservation activities across the state. This funding is part of the state’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program for cities and counties to establish efficiency and conservations projects in their communities.
The EECBG program is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy. Under the program, the state will deploy energy-efficiency, conservation and renewable energy projects in the building, institutional, commercial, transportation and public sectors.
“This is another excellent opportunity for Oregon to make investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy development,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “This funding will help local communities adopt clean, reliable and efficient energy projects and expand the Oregon Solar Highway Project, further establishing Oregon’s leadership in sustainability and innovative renewable energy projects.”
More than $1.7 million from the EECBG program will be used by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to continue development of solar power on ODOT property. The state unveiled the nation’s first solar highway project in 2008, in which arrays of solar panels built along the highway produce electricity for lighting a major intersection of two interstate highways in the Portland area.
“This monetary award recognizes our cutting-edge approach to powering the transportation system with clean, renewable energy,” said ODOT Director Matt Garrett. “Our solar highway demonstration project has been extremely successful, and now we have support for building on that success.”
ODOT has several potential solar highway projects in varying stages of review: a site in West Linn along I-205; a site behind the Baldock Rest Area on I-5 south of Wilsonville; and an expansion of the existing I-5/I-205 demonstration project site.
The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) will provide at least 60 percent of the state’s EECBG funding for cities and counties. These funds will be passed through ODOE to local cities and counties not eligible for direct EECBG awards from the U.S. DOE. The EECBG was funded for the first time by the Recovery Act and provides formula grants to state, cities, counties, territories and federally-recognized Indian tribes.
For more information about Recovery Act funding, please refer to http://www.oregon.gov/recovery/.
Jillian Schoene, (503) 378-5040
Courtney Warner Crowell (Governor's Economic Recovery), (503) 378-3554
Lou Torres (ODOE), (503) 378-3637
Shelley Snow (ODOT), (503) 881-5362