SALEM — Governor Kitzhaber and the Oregon Department of Energy announced today the results of a study on how buying solar products and services sourced exclusively from Oregon companies could improve the state’s economy. The Governor and the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Tax Credits commissioned the study.
Governor Kitzhaber praised the effort to identify opportunities for Oregon companies. “When we can identify and source market-competitive, Oregon-made products, we enhance our business cluster strategy and see economic benefits all over the state.”
The exploratory study, conducted by Industrial Economics Inc., examined the potential impacts from the Oregon University System’s upcoming $27.1 million, multi-facility solar project known as “Solar by Degrees.” The study examined two scenarios:
• Low scenario assumed minimal local sourcing of solar components and 90 percent local labor.
• High scenario assumed the project would use materials made by and purchased from Oregon companies and 100 percent local labor.
The state has built a robust solar manufacturing and installation industry over the past 30 years, helped in part by manufacturer incentive programs and statewide renewable energy goals. More than 1,800 Oregonians currently work in the state’s solar manufacturing and installation industry.
According to the report, materials such as solar panels and inverters represent about 60 percent of the expenses associated with solar photovoltaic projects. When researchers projected the impact of buying these materials from Oregon-based manufacturers, the results were clear:
• When Oregon companies provide all the materials, 14.8 worker-year jobs are created for every $1 million spent. That is six more worker-year jobs than when materials are purchased from out of state.
• When Oregonians provide all of the labor, personal income increases from $11.1 million to $21.6 million – an increase of 75 percent.
Bob Repine, acting director of the Oregon Department of Energy, reinforced the connection between energy and the economy. “When we can keep money in Oregon, we’re not only building our clean energy infrastructure, we’re building Oregon’s economy.”
To read the full report, please visit: http://oregon.gov/ENERGY/docs/Made_In_Oregon_052912.pdf
About the Department of Energy: The Oregon Department of Energy provides tax credits, grants, loans, technical assistance and energy information for homes, businesses, manufacturing, farms, ranches, schools and governments.