This solar installation is the latest project of Solarize Corvallis, a joint initiative of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Oregon Clean Power Cooperative, whose goal is to install large solar arrays throughout Corvallis. To help fund the project, Solarize Corvallis reached out to the Corvallis community, with a goal of raising $20,000 in 20 days for a 20 kW solar system.
Solar panels funded in part by the local community are now up and running on the roof of Third Street Commons, formerly known as the Budget Inn. Located at 1480 SW 3rd Street in Corvallis, the facility was purchased last year by Corvallis Housing First through the state of Oregon’s Project Turnkey. Third Street Commons now serves as an emergency non-congregate shelter and will eventually provide permanent supported housing for community members who are experiencing homelessness.
More than 100 community members responded and easily exceeded the goal. The project’s solar contractor, Peter Greenberg of Energy Wise Services, went the extra mile to procure state grant funds to increase the installation by 50%. The 30 kW solar installation is now completed and will greatly decrease electric bills at Third Street Commons.
“The monthly savings on our electric bills will allow us to divert those funds to providing shelter and services for those who are vulnerable and experiencing homelessness,” explains Andrea Myhre, Executive Director of Corvallis Housing First. “This is a real win-win for the community!”
The solar panels will supply about 40,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity from the sun each year. That is estimated to eliminate more than 30 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, equivalent to not driving a car more than 70,000 miles.
Corvallis Housing First provides housing and case management services for individuals experiencing homelessness in Corvallis at their five different housing sites, and in collaboration with other shelter and outreach service providers. Many of the people CHF serves have experienced chronic homelessness, as well as disabling conditions. Unity Shelter operates non-congregate shelter at Third Street Commons in partnership with Corvallis Housing First. Unity Shelter’s mission is to provide safe shelter through collaborative care. Unity Shelter operates men’s and women’s shelters, as well as transitional housing and hygiene services in Corvallis, serving hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in our community.
The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is a network of organizations and individuals in Corvallis, Oregon, who are working together to create a sustainable community. It includes more than 350 partner organizations – businesses, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, educational institutions, and government entities – all committed to creating a community that values environmental quality, social equity, and economic vitality.
The Oregon Clean Power Cooperative is the only statewide cooperative in the U.S. dedicated solely to community-owned renewable energy. The Co-op’s member-financed projects keep capital circulating locally, create green jobs, and enable Oregon communities to become more self-reliant through locally-generated clean power. Over the last several years, the Oregon Clean Power Co-op has developed and financed more than 20 solar projects for schools, churches, nonprofits, and municipalities around the state.