How much energy could be produced on the rooftops of affordable housing in Multnomah County, just from the sun? Over 14 million kWh per year, according to a report from Multnomah County Office of Sustainability, titled Roadmap to Solar for Affordable Housing in Multnomah County. Generating 14 million kWh of clean energy is equal to taking 2,231 cars off the road.
Multnomah County Office of Sustainability teamed up with Portland State University Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) to develop the Roadmap to Solar report. The collaboration was part of ISS’s Summer Immersion Internship Program, where a paid, full-time, graduate-level intern is placed within a local organization to work on a project over the summer to help inform a decision, investment, or policy related to sustainability in the Portland metro region.
The report not only focused on how much energy could be produced by outfitting affordable housing units in Multnomah County with solar panels, but also investigated what it would mean for families who live in affordable housing. For example, electricity bills for an average family could be reduced by 55%. The report also dives into the challenges for solarizing existing affordable buildings and outlines strategies that may help to overcome those challenges.