Lets Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

Let's Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

ETO Solar Incentives for New Buildings

Disclaimer: All the information provided below is based on information found on the ETO website and various supporting documents. This article is intended to make it easier to find all the information you need in one place NOT to replace any information provided by the ETO. If you have any questions about incentives or how to apply, please contact the ETO.

The Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) offers several incentives for non-residential customers preparing to construct a new building. To qualify for ETO solar incentives all projects are required to:

  • be located in Oregon
  • be a Portland General Electric (PGE) or Pacific Power customer
  • work with an approved Solar Electric Trade Ally


For existing buildings, see our article Energy Trust of Oregon Solar Incentives for Existing Buildings (Non-Residential)

Solar Incentives for New Buildings

These incentives are for new building construction to be designed for future solar PV installation after building construction and are managed by the Energy Trust New Buildings program.


Step 1: Successfully Enroll in New Buildings Program

To apply for any of the ETO New Buildings incentives each project must first enroll in the Energy Trust New Buildings program by completing Form 510A: New Buildings Project Enrollment Application. The form must be completed and submitted to the New Buildings program for processing before you begin equipment purchases or other project construction activities

ETO New Buildings Program contact

newbuildings@energytrust.org or 1-877-467-0930.


Step 2: Apply for Desired New Building Incentive

Energy Trust offers incentives and technical support at three distinct stages: feasibility, design, and installation. Each incentive requires it’s own application and has distinct requirements as detailed below.

Projects that fall under Oregon state law 1.5% for Green Energy Technology requirement are eligible to apply for ETO Solar Feasibility incentives and Solar Electric equipment installation incentives, but not for any Solar Ready incentives.


Solar Feasibility Incentive for New Buildings (PV Only)

What: Funds for conducting a Solar Feasibility Study, an analysis and written report summarizing the potential for designing and installing a solar PV system. See application form for details of required deliverables.

Incentive Amount: Project Owner is reimbursed for 90% of eligible, incurred costs to conduct the Solar Feasibility Study, up to a maximum amount of $1,700.

Project Requirements:

To Apply: Fill out Form 520SF: Solar Feasibility for New Buildings Incentive Application and submit to ETO New Buildings program.


Solar Ready Design Incentive for New Buildings

What: The Solar Ready incentive offering provides funds for designing and constructing a building with a future high-performing solar PV energy system in mind.

Incentive Amount: Project Owner is reimbursed for 75% of eligible, incurred Solar Ready component costs, up to $15,000 based the caps listed below:

  • Up to $5,000 for mechanical and electrical specifications
  • Up to $5,000 for structural engineering specifications
  • Up to $5,000 for Solar Ready construction materials such as chases, conduits and other electrical equipment

Project Requirements:

Additional Restrictions: Projects that receive Solar Ready incentives are ineligible to receive ETO Solar Electric incentives (for the installation of solar panels and associated generating equipment) for a period of 12 months following construction completion. If you expect to install solar equipment as part of the building’s construction or immediately following construction, you should speak to your Program Representative about applying for Solar Electric installation incentives instead of Solar Ready.

To Apply: Fill out Form 520SR: Solar Ready New Buildings Incentive Application and submit to ETO New Buildings program.


Solar Electric Preliminary Incentive

What: This is a preliminary incentive reservation meaning the project owner is applying to reserve funds from the Solar Electric Incentive for future use. If the preliminary incentive is approved then the preliminary reservation period begins

Incentive Amount: Calculated as 80% of total 

Project & Process Requirements:

  • Project owner must demonstrate proof of site control
  • Incentive application must be submitted before ordering PV system equipment or otherwise beginning any PV system installation activities
  • PV system design must be capable of complying with Energy Trust’s Solar Electric System Installation Requirements when installed

To Apply: Fill out Form 205PE: Solar Electric Preliminary Incentive Application

Preliminary Reservation Period: During the Preliminary Reservation Period, Project Owner must meet the following progress milestones:

  • Project Owner must select a Solar Electric Trade Ally installer, inform the Design Ally of the selection, and inform the Trade Ally of the Preliminary Reservation Period
  • Project Owner and its selected Trade Ally installer must file a final Incentive Application (Form 220C-PC or Form 220T-PC , as applicable) for the approved system design before the Preliminary Reservation Period expires.
  • If Project Owner does not meet established milestones or if Energy Trust determines Project Owner is otherwise not progressing appropriately towards timely commencement of the system installation during such time period, the reserved incentives may be withdrawn.


Step 3: Complete Work per Incentive Requirements

Based on the specific requirements for the incentive chosen, the work must be completed by the Solar Electric Trade Ally and submitted for review to the ETO. Refer to the respective incentive application for details of work required.


Step 4: Request Payment

  • Submit completed and signed Payment Request (Form 540PR)
  • Submit Payee’s current W-9 (if not previously submitted)
  • Submit Information on Project Owner’s decision regarding a solar installation

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