At least 116 megawatts of new solar energy development will soon be underway in Oregon, supported by the state’s Solar Development Incentive (SDI) program.

Oregon’s SDI program was approved by the 2016 legislature, and is intended to encourage utility-scale solar development in the state.  Through a one-time application process, the program provides solar developers of approved projects with a cash incentive of $0.005 per kilowatt-hour of solar electricity generated for a period of five years.  Oregon expects that the SDI program will cost the state approximately $8.2 million over the life of the program.

To be eligible for the program, each project must be between 2 and 10 megawatts in size, and no single developer can enroll more than 35 megawatts of solar generation capacity. 

Although enrolled capacity is capped at 150 megawatts, Business Oregon – the state economic development agency charged with overseeing the SDI program – received 55 applications representing 293 megawatts of solar capacity. 

So far, 15 projects owned by eight developers have been selected for participation in the SDI program, for a total of 116 megawatts of new solar energy generation in the state.  The projects are located primarily in central, southern, and eastern Oregon. 

Award announcements for additional projects are expected in the weeks ahead.