Solar in Oregon
• Total Capacity in Oregon (2019):
• Facilities in Oregon (2019): 18,000+ Residential/Commercial
(1 kW to 56 MW) and 77 Utility-Scale
• Total Generation (2018): 776,000 MWh
• In-State Consumption (2018): 680,499 MWh
• Total Exports (2018):
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun. Solar technologies harness this energy for
electricity generation, space and water heating, and other uses. Solar energy is a renewable resource
as the energy comes from the sun. Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells are the most common technology for generating electricity from solar
Solar PV cells absorb photons from sunlight and convert their energy into electric current. PV
cells are connected together into panels for installation on rooftops or ground-mounted systems. The
average solar panel has between a 200- and 400-watt capacity. Joining panels together creates solar
arrays, which can be virtually any size, from less than one kilowatt to hundreds of megawatts or more.
In 2018, utility-scale, commercial, and residential
solar generated approximately 776,000 MWh or
1.2 percent of all electricity generated in Oregon
(18th among all states). Oregonians consumed
approximately 680,500 MWh accounting for 1.3
percent of all electricity consumed in Oregon.
Oregon solar grew over five-fold between 2015
and 2019, with installed capacity growing from
91 MW to 592 MW, and generation increasing
from 116,000 MWh to 776,000 MWh. During
this period, residential and commercial solar grew
at a consistent rate. However, most growth in
solar capacity came from utility-scale solar; in
2018 utility-scale solar accounted for 79 percent
of solar generation, with commercial solar
accounting for 13 percent and residential solar
accounting for 8 percent.
Oregon has significant solar generation potential, with a 2012 National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) study estimating annual technical potential for solar in Oregon at 1,775 terawatt hours;
Oregon’s total 2018 electricity demand was around 51 terawatt hours. This potential, coupled with
improvements in solar technology and falling costs, means Oregon is likely to see increased
development of solar resources.
Check it out: ODOE's Oregon Solar Dashboard shows how sun-powered electricity has developed over time across the state.