Blue Sky® Block program participants have helped fund the installation of 156 community-based projects at schools, food banks, houses of worship, municipal buildings and nonprofit organizations.
Some recent Blue Sky grant recipients are highlighted below. Savings from these renewable energy installations allow organizations to continue their important work serving their communities.
These projects are in addition to the renewable energy supported in the region through monthly block purchases.
Want to help? Learn about and enroll in Blue Sky.
Interested in applying? Submit a Blue Sky project application.
Benton County installed 111.53 kilowatt of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on the County's Law Enforcement Building (LEB) in downtown Corvallis. This is a key part of the implementation phase of Benton County’s Climate Action Plan, transition to renewable energy sources for County operations. Benton County’s goal is to reduce its emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and be net-zero by 2050. The system is expected to supply 20% of the building’s electricity demand, and reduce the County’s greenhouse gas emissions by 100 metric tons a year. In addition to reducing emissions, the system will save the County an estimated $15,000 per year, allowing more County resources to be used to serve the community. The project is also a showcase for the community, publicly acknowledging local government’s commitment to renewable energy.
Augustana Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland envisioned an important goal to harness the power of the sun. This solar project represents an important step on Augustana’s journey to net zero and its energy cost savings will help reach the objective. The 112 solar array will fully power the Sanctuary and Christian Education Building.
Elementary, middle, and high school classes both public and private, as well as community and faith-based groups can visit our the church to see the 12-minute documentary video about the process of installing the solar energy system, and learn about renewable energy in general, as well as about the Blue Sky program.
As one of the nation’s first multicultural, multinational solar sanctuary churches, they strive to be a catalyst for the greening of many houses of worship through renewable energy.
The Winston-Dillard School District installed additional PV panels with better capabilities to reduce operating expenses. The 134-kilowatt solar array will cut down on school’s operating budget helping them to direct the funds to support other important projects.
City of Bend Water Filtration Facility Solar. The project includes a 123.1 KW fixed-tilt ground-mounted solar PV array that is anticipated to generate approximately 190,000 kWh per year and offset the electricity usage of the City of Bend Outback WFF. The City of Bend is committed to making progress toward Climate Action Goals established by the City Council. These goals are to reduce CO2 emissions from the city facilities to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2030. To help achieve this goal, the City plans to reduce fossil fuel use for city facilities and operations by 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050.
The Greater Santiam Boys & Girls Club's purpose is to help develop minds of our community’s youth. The Club does great work engaging and helping to develop kids and provide daycare for essential workers’ kids. A 98 KW solar array was installed at the Greater Santiam Boys & Girls Club in Lebanon, OR. The Club will use the savings in their day to day operations. Energy Wise, along with Club personnel, will provide renewable energy education for the kids. Ideally the kids will be excited in the system from the talks and may consider careers in renewable energy or energy efficiency.
The solar array is installed on a 4-story multi-family affordable housing development in the Cully neighborhood of Portland. The project serves low-income Native American households. The energy offset provided by the system will help keep the house energy bills/property operating expenses down, which will enable the property to maintain stable operations and lower rents for tenants.
Saving Grace’s mission is to champion, promote and protect the human-animal bond through responsible pet ownership. Their primary function is to shelter and care for lost and homeless pets, both stray and owner-surrendered.
The 43.2 kilowatt solar array reduces costs so the center can focus on uniting pets with loving families and maintaining the high standard of care for animals.
St. Charles is a Catholic parish located in Northest Portland’s Cully neighborhood. The church serves the community through outreach activities and welcomes new immigrants into its congregation.
Through the St. Vincent DePaul society, St. Charles serves those who are homeless or on limited incomes by offering access to food and clothes, as well as helping with rent and utilities.
The rooftop solar energy installation on the school building supplies renewable energy to cover St. Charles’s electricity needs.
Perry Technical Institute is a nonprofit technical school in Yakima, Washington that provides students of all ages with the skills and work habits they need to succeed. During a campus expansion project, Perry Tech sought to incorporate alternative energy and create new hands-on opportunities for students. In 2015, Perry Tech installed a 15.68-kilowatt solar project atop the new Plath Hall.
Perry Tech used the solar project as a learning opportunity for students in the electrical technology program who installed the solar array with guidance from their instructors. Students and visitors to the campus can view energy production from a display in the lobby of the building.
The 21 kilowatt solar array located atop the Bratton Tennis Center is a part of school's Environmental Studies program coursework.
Delphic School was established in 1916 to provide education to students living between Yreka and Montague. The school continues in that role, providing for local students, kindergarten through eighth grade. The role of the school has been expanded to include an alternative for parents living in neighboring school districts. Since Delphic School is a small rural school, we are able to provide a more personal school experience for students.
Delphic School believes strongly in the move to renewable energy. The money saved on energy is directly invested in the education of students, and allows Delphic to better fulfill its goals.
The 7.3-kilowatt pole-mounted solar project is installed next to the school.
The Butte Valley Community Center BlueSky 37.7 KW Solar project is a key corner stone in the Butte Valley Community Center Addition project. The center wanted to increase their services to the community which includes a walk in refrigeration and freezer section, dry food storage, space to distribute commodities and a 25 person meeting space. The key to the economics and sustainability was the solar array which will drive the power bill down to hopefully zero. Removing the power bill from the budget, will immediately improve the bottom line which will allow more services to be delivered to the community. The Lions Club who owns the building and the project could not have afforded the power bill increase brought on by the addition of the refrigeration and freezer units. Without the solar portion of this project the project would have been dead in the water. Ore-Cal RC&D Council as fiscal 501c3 sponsor was able to secure grant funding for the building, match dollars and community donations to go with the BlueSky grant funding. The Dorris Lions Club, the owners and operators of the community center is the applicant and owner of the project.
The Siskiyou Family YMCA installed a 90 kilowatt solar array to help offset the energy needs of the facility. The solar array is highly visible element of the property. There is a 1 mile fitness trail that is used daily by the community. The trail goes directly under the elevated solar arrays at several points. The location was selected to optimize the production of the solar panels that will be facing 180 degrees south.
Currently, the Siskiyou Family YMCA fills a huge void in what is an economically disadvantaged area, referred to as “frontier” in extreme Northern California. There are few fitness or recreation opportunities for youth and the YMCA is a focal point for healthy activity. A large part of their community's recreation programs take place at the YMCA.
Those activities include youth and adult sports leagues, camps, arts & enrichment programs, birthday parties and even whitewater rafting! In addition to general recreation programs, the facility is used by the elementary and high schools for team practices, social activities and special events. The YMCA has become a community gathering place with a majority of community-wide events occurring at the facility throughout the year The Siskiyou Family YMCA is an independent nonprofit organization, and is open to anyone regardless of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
The WRPD whose boundaries include the entire City of Weed and a significant portion of developed property outside of the City was formed in the 1960’s and has provided recreational facilities and programs for the community for nearly 60 years. The original WRPD Community Center was lost in the Boles fire on September 15, 2014. In order to reconstruct the center, WRPD purchased a piece of property adjacent to property they already own. The new center officially opened in February of 2019 and provides the community with a large meeting/event room, a commercial kitchen, a recreation and fitness room and an indoor pool and spa. Part of the WRPD mission is to provide a well-rounded selection of recreation and park facilities and health and wellness programs. Community seniors and youth are the top priorities to providing services. The 43.8 KW solar array will offset electric costs at the Weed Community Center. Reduced costs of operation of the Community Center, provides more funds for additional programs sustainability.