Clatsop County First in State to Win EPA Recognition for Renewable Power Commitment

January 25, 2018

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ASTORIA, Ore. — Clatsop County is the first county in Oregon, and only the second nationally, to be named a Green Power Community by the Environmental Protection Agency. The recognition comes after a phenomenally successful outreach campaign during 2017 to increase residential and business support for renewable energy through Pacific Power's Blue Sky program.

"I'm not surprised by the enthusiastic response from Clatsop County," said Scott Lee, chair, Clatsop County Commission. "The people and businesses that make this special place their homes have always had a deep respect and appreciation for the environment."

The North Coast challenge, jointly sponsored by Pacific Power as well as local county and city governments in the county, encouraged residents and businesses to support renewable energy by enrolling in Blue Sky. As a result, residential participation increased by 36 percent and business participation by 72 percent county-wide.

"Clatsop County has made a major commitment to promote renewable energy," said Alisa Dunlap, regional business manager for Pacific Power. "People who live and work in the county have shown that thinking about the future of energy is important. That is the kind of leadership that fosters economic growth and further improves an area that is already a great place to live and do business."

The original goal of the challenge was to increase participation by 500. But enthusiasm was so strong in the county, that level was soon surpassed. By the end of the year, more than 930 had signed up, nearly twice the goal.

The city with the largest growth was Gearhart, where participation leapt 63 percent. The other cities were equally impressive:

  • Astoria 43% increase
  • Seaside 39% increase
  • Clatsop County-wide 38% increase
  • Cannon Beach 29% increase
  • Warrenton 23% increase
  • Arch Cape 12% increase
  • Hammond 8% increase

"All of the growth is admirable, but Cannon Beach really stands out," said Dunlap. "Blue Sky enrollment there was already among the highest in the state percentage-wise. Adding 29 percent on top of that is truly amazing."

Part of the recognition from the EPA are three road signs that have already been posted, letting travelers know they are entering a Green Community. The signs are located at the county line on Highway 30, Highway 101 and Highway 26. In addition, the county will receive a solar installation courtesy of the Blue Sky program and its 118,000 customers in the west. The location of the installation is now being discussed.  

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