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Oregon Named U.S. Leader in Renewable Energy

Wherever you live, you can take advantage of solar power. Oregon, neighbor to Seattle, Washington — infamous for rain, clouds and overcast days — has stepped up to be named the U.S. renewable energy leader according to the most recent Business Facilities’ 2011 State Rankings Report.

While the state of Oregon is currently building what will be one of the biggest wind farms in the world at Shepherd’s Flat, it also boasts one of the country’s largest solar manufacturing facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon. Opened in October 2008, the facility is generating 500mw of energy for Oregon residents.

The state’s ranking as a leader in renewable energy is based on the diversity of its renewable energy programs, as well as generous tax incentives for the installation of renewable energy sources (such as solar PV arrays) in homes and businesses.

If you live in Oregon, you can get generous tax credits for:

  • Solar Electric PV Systems
  • Solar Hot Water Heating
  • Solar Pool Heating
  • Passive Solar Space Heating
  • Active Solar Space Heating

Where Does Your State Rank and How Can You Help?
When it comes to solar power, California leads the country in energy produced, followed by New Jersey and Colorado. Iowa and Arizona follow Colorado as alternative energy leaders on the Business Facility report, with California ranking number 5. Texas, a warm and sunny region, is the nation’s leader in installed wind power capacity, and is number 6 overall in alternative energy.

What can we take away from this information? Wherever you live, whatever the climate and regardless of how much sun you have available on average, viable alternative energy sources exist. And solar panels really do work practically anywhere.

Get in the Solar Race
You can help your state get to the top of the list by taking action. Investigate incentives and tax credits available for solar PV installations in your area, as it varies widely by municipality. If incentives don’t exist — or aren’t as good as you’d like them to be — contact your government representatives and suggest changes. If the incentives available help make solar energy an affordable option for you, don’t wait. Solar is one of the top ways to reduce our country’s dependency on fossil fuels (especially foreign oil), and for homeowners to save money on their utility bills.

Post Written by
A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

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