The Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT) has installed solar panels on their building on campus as a first project to learn about installation, funding and use ahead of future solar projects on the Reservation. The Commissary project – which involves renovation of the relocated Commissary building on campus – is planning on solar power generation to support the Small Business Incubator that will include a commercial kitchen, food cart pod and public restrooms. Plans may also include electric vehicle charging stations.
Through partnerships with the Oregon Clean Power Cooperative, PAE Engineering, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, and Vertue Lab, WSCAT has spent the last two years developing plans for solar projects in Warm Springs, and learning how to fund them.
The WSCAT building is an old triple wide trailer with 10 offices, a file room, a break room, and a conference room. The facility has been very energy-inefficient, with monthly electric bills averaging $800 – $900 per month. Adding solar panels will help to offset those costs.
The funding for the project comes from 4 sources. Energy Trust of Oregon is providing a $17,100 incentive, which will match funds coming through an Oregon Department of Energy rebate. There is also a federal rebate that nonprofits can use to cover 40% of project costs. All totaled, solar on the WSCAT building will cost $67,000, of which grants and rebates will cover 90%. The Community Action Team will cover the remaining 10% with donations.
For the Commissary Project Solar Installation – WSCAT has raised significant fund including $70,344 from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Program, $25,000 from Vertue Lab, and $27,200 from Energy Trust of Oregon (another solar incentive). State and Federal rebates will be utilized as well.