Environmental program gets solar panels thanks to Solarize U

The home of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide is about to get much greener thanks to a donation from UO’s Solarize U program.

A team of solar installers erected a 3.5-kilowatt solar array on the roof of a historic Eugene building that houses lawyers, scientists and other professionals working to protect communities and the environment in more than 80 countries around the globe.

Solarize U was able to donate the solar panel system thanks to the level of community participation in the program, which aimed to boost the number of local households generating power from the sun by offering discounted rates and installation incentives. For every 35 homes that worked with Solarize U to install rooftop photovoltaic panels, one system was donated to a local nonprofit.

“It’s fitting that one of Eugene’s most respected environmental organizations is receiving the first solar panel donation,” said Steve Mital, director of UO’s Office of Sustainability.

More than 80 area households took advantage of the program’s group rates and streamlined design and installation processes. In addition to the installation at the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, another system will be donated to the Veterans’ Housing Project. 

“We want to produce fewer greenhouse gases and we are thrilled to reduce our power consumption through solar power,” said Bern Johnson, the executive director of Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide. “We will save money on our electric bill and help protect the climate while producing clean, renewable energy.”