Solar Energy

Solar panels on rooftop of homeDid you know? You can use your roof to generate electricity or to heat water for showers and laundry. Installing a solar system on your roof continues a great Northwest tradition – renewable energy.

Download Information and Forms

Estimate Solar System Cost & Payback Time

Curious what a solar system might cost, or what the payback time might be? Use this calculator to find out. Note: The PUD’s residential electric rate is 7.19¢/kWh, so be sure to use that figure instead of the default rate in the form.

Rebates are available through the State of Oregon, and homeowners can take advantage of the federal tax credit.

Your installer should be able to provide more details on state and federal programs.

Learn More

  • If you have questions about solar energy, contact Mike Arend by email or at (503) 366-9912.
  • Read a guide to solar from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.

SHMS Solar Project

Solar panels on the roof of St. Helens Middle School.

The rooftop at the new St. Helens Middle School is outfitted with 590 solar panels, making it the largest solar system in our territory.

That collection of panels gives SHMS a total system size of 218.3 kW. For comparison, the average residential system in our territory is about 6 kW.

Along with the system, St. Helens School District staff has access to an online dashboard showing real-time energy production. Data from the dashboard indicate the middle school produced 134,670 kWh in 2021, the first full year such data was available. That’s about one-third of the total electricity the school used that year, or enough to power about 10 average homes for the whole year.

The solar panels were installed in accordance with Oregon state law requiring public entities spend 1.5% of new public building costs on green energy technology.

Solar panels on the roof of St. Helens Middle School