As the weather cools and the days get shorter, it’s a good time to enjoy the warmth of home, twinkling lights, and walks in the crisp air. It’s also a good time to reflect on the many successes that Blue Sky participants have made possible this year.
Because of you, Blue Sky was recently recognized as the second largest utility green power program in the U.S. by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Customers are choosing to make an impact by supporting additional renewable energy and local community projects through Blue Sky,” said Cory Scott, vice president of customer & community solutions. “We’re immensely proud of our Blue Sky participants for achieving this national recognition.”
Thank you for being part of the Blue Sky community. Scroll down to learn more about the difference you’re making for the environment and for local communities.
Rogue River Watershed Council is improving the quality of Oregon streams.
In Jackson County, Oregon, the Rogue River Watershed Council has started work on its largest habitat rehabilitation project to date, thanks in part to the support of Blue Sky Habitat participants. The South Fork Little Butte Creek project will restore natural stream processes and ecosystem functioning across more than 35 acres of forest and over two miles of stream. The improvement of the aquatic and land habitats will help build a resilient ecosystem and robust native fish and wildlife populations in the Upper Rogue River Basin.
The Rogue River Watershed Council was created in 2015, when four independent watershed councils committed to support safe, healthy habitats and aligned their vision to drive a meaningful impact. Today, the non-profit hosts over 1.6 million acres of streamside habitat coverage in Southwest Oregon.
From Grants Pass to Ashland, the Rogue River Watershed Council works to protect Oregon streams. This includes restoring natural water flow, limiting invasive plant and tree species along river banks, and planting native species. Their work ensures that we can enjoy our local habitats for years to come, and Blue Sky Habitat participants are helping to make that vision a reality."
Augustana Lutheran Church celebrates their new solar panel installation.
Earlier this year, Portland-based Augustana Lutheran Church celebrated the successful installation of 112 solar panels on the roof of their Christian Education Building. The 44.3 kilowatt solar array, made possible with the support of Blue Sky Block participants, will generate 43,700 kWh annually, equivalent to 3,400 gallons of gasoline, and will fully power both the education building and the sanctuary.
Augustana committed “to receive and use God’s gift of sunshine” in 2008, and have been working towards this goal with their congregation ever since. They hope their dedication to their own net zero journey will influence more houses of worship to become sustainable.
“We are in a climate crisis and going green is one example of how, collectively, we can do something that has tremendous impact for good in this community, and our world,” states Pastor Knudson. “We are committed to educating our community and held our first solar energy education youth conference, which was a huge success.”
Providence Brookside Manor, an assisted living facility, benefits from solar power.
Providence Brookside Manor in Hood River, OR, is a non-profit assisted living and memory care community that provides comprehensive care for seniors and supports their varying needs. They recently installed a 53.9 kilowatt solar array, showcasing their commitment to a more sustainable energy future.
Over 70% of the installation was covered by a grant made possible by Blue Sky Block participants. With the utility savings they receive from the solar array, Providence will now be able to dedicate more funds directly to patient care.
“We are thankful to Pacific Power’s Blue Sky participants who made it possible,” said Jamie Hanshaw, Providence Senior Village manager. “This solar power project is an example of how we value stewardship of resources and how we can reduce our impact on the environment. By generating our own electricity, we’ll save on energy costs — and that means we can dedicate more of our budget to our core mission of caring for our residents.”
A performing arts company keeps its lights both bright and clean.
Camelot Theatre Company’s state-of-the-art performing arts theater in Talent, OR, is now home to a new state-of-the-art solar system! The 48.6 kilowatt solar array will generate about 50% of the venue’s power annually and was made possible by Blue Sky Block participants.
A semi-professional community theatre company serving Southern Oregon and the Rogue Valley, Camelot’s 164-seat venue entertains over 26,000 patrons annually with affordable plays, musicals and musical events. They also provide a supportive environment for professional and amateur theater artists and technicians while inspiring and training adults, teens and children in the theater arts.
Camelot tracks their solar energy outputs for patrons to view online. By keeping a pulse on their energy usage, this entertainment hub is reducing their environmental impact for a cleaner future.
Boys and Girls Club’s new solar array provides a teachable moment.
Thanks to a grant made possible by Blue Sky Block participants, Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Santiam (BGCGS) in Lebanon, OR has installed a 98.56-kilowatt solar array with an anticipated annual generation capacity of 115,782 kWh.
This installation is projected to generate up to 80% of the energy needs for the 5th St. building amounting to a savings of over $7,000 a year. The Club will use the energy savings in their day-to-day operations, providing more activities for kids, as well as daycare for the children of essential workers. They also hope to inspire kids to think about energy efficiency, perhaps even to consider careers in renewable energy, through renewable energy education.
BGCGS is committed to providing programs and services to every child and family in an inclusive and relevant manner. Core programs include character and leadership development, education and career development, the arts, health and life skills, and sports, fitness and recreation. It’s their goal to offer programs and services that will engage a wide variety of youth in a way that will help develop them into responsible adults who give back to their community.
Blue Sky participants share ideas for helping the environment, beginning with reducing emissions from driving.
Protecting our environment is an important, long-term commitment that involves everyone, and everyone can make a difference. Recently, we asked Blue Sky participants to share their tips for taking action for the environment and we received so many great ideas! Today, the spotlight shines on Oregon, as our Blue Sky participants share their strategies for reducing emissions from automobiles.
If you drive a gas-powered vehicle, Lynne from Portland has some well-timed advice for you: Stop idling! It is a common misconception that a car must be left running to warm up. Reduce your emissions by skipping this step.
Gail from Bend says she always doubles and triples-up her car errands to minimize gas use. She is also “gentle on the gas pedal” to get better mileage and carpools when possible.
Taking a step further, James, also from Bend, offers the solution of driving less altogether. A Blue Sky participant of 6 years, James cites his love of Earth as his motivation and shares “we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children.”
Having an impact can begin anywhere, at any time. We thank Lynne, Gail, and James for sharing their advice with the rest of our Blue Sky Community. Now, we’d like to hear from you! Share your tips and advice on making an impact by clicking this link. Your tip could be featured in future newsletters!