WASHINGTON, DC - The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA(R)) and the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA) today announced a formalized partnership to coordinate the resources of both organizations and promote the growth of Oregon's strong solar energy market.
"Oregon's solar industry has been a bright star in a cloudy economic sky and though we face formidable challenges, OSEIA is optimistic about the industry's long term growth," said Glenn Montgomery, OSEIA Executive Director. "We will continue to partner with public and private advocates, including national SEIA, to promote the economic, environmental and social benefits of a free and abundant resource - the sun."
"Oregon has made a significant effort to attract state-of-the-art solar manufacturing to the state, and the investment is paying off," said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of national SEIA. "We are now seeing more in-state demand for solar energy projects as well. The combination of SEIA's national resources and OSEIA's on-the-ground efforts in the state's solar market will be a huge benefit for Oregon solar companies and consumers. I look forward to working closely with OSEIA to help create new jobs and opportunities for people in Oregon and across the country."
Today, solar energy is one of the fastest growing energy technologies in the United States. The U.S. solar industry now employs more than 100,000 Americans who work at more than 5,000 companies, mostly small businesses, located in every state. With the expansion of the U.S. solar industry, the costs of solar panels have declined by 30 percent since the beginning of 2010, making solar even more affordable. Solar electric power across the country currently surpasses 3,100 megawatts, enough to power 630,000 American homes.
Oregon has established itself as one of the leading markets for solar manufacturing. In the last year, the state's manufacturing capacity for solar panels has increased 115 percent. Manufacturers in state can now produce enough solar panels each year to power more than 25,000 homes. In the second quarter of 2011, Oregon led the nation in production of wafers, solar cells and modules.
There are over 100 companies operating in Oregon's solar market. At the end of 2010, enough solar was installed in the state to power almost 5,000 homes. This number is expected to increase as community-driven projects continue to thrive and innovative finance models, such as residential solar leasing, are introduced to consumers and make solar affordable to more Oregonians.
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.
OSEIA is the only non-profit trade association exclusively focused on the solar industry in Oregon. Established in 1981, OSEIA represents a diverse constituency that includes manufacturers, installers, developers, professional service firms, utilities, educational institutions, labor unions and advocates. Its mission is to promote smart public policy that supports the widespread adoption of solar energy.