2.8 MW community solar farm in Oregon serves state residents and employees of large corporations Microsoft, Nike

Microsoft, Nike and Common Energy partnered to subscribe the Skyward Community Solar project, located in Clackamas County, Oregon. The 2.8 MW farm generates 3.6 million kilowatt hours of clean energy and offsets the equivalent of 3,428,265 pounds of coal burned each year. Skyward was developed and funded by Standard Solar, the long term owner-operator of the system.

Microsoft makes up the commercial allocation, in accordance with the provisions of Oregon’s Community Solar Program. Additionally, 10% of Skyward’s generation is allocated to qualified low- and moderate-income households, who receive a substantial discount on their electric bills.

“At Microsoft, part of our vision for a sustainable future is advocating for innovative technology that empowers and benefits everyone,” said Katie Ross, Global Sustainability Program Manager, Microsoft. “We are proud to be a lead partner in this initiative that helps achieve environmental goals while also supporting low-income residences with clean, affordable energy. We are excited to partner on this project and be part of bringing a greener grid to the entire Clackamas County community.”

The project has 191 subscribers, approximately 100 of them being Nike employees. All subscribers receive a contracted discount on their electric bills each month and Renewable Energy Credits proportional to their share of the project’s energy generation.

“Nike and our employees are proud to support this new and innovative way to lower carbon emissions and reduce the cost of energy in our backyard,” said Seana Hannah, Vice President NXT Sustainable Innovation at Nike. “We’re also excited that a portion of the project’s savings will be directed to households in our community who need these benefits most.”

This farm was Standard Solar’s first completed project in Oregon. “More companies are turning to solar to boost their bottom line with a cleaner and more secure form of energy,” said Mike Streams, Chief Development Officer at Standard Solar. “Standard Solar looks forward to supporting many more solar projects in the state.”

Integral to the project’s success were the Energy Trust of Oregon, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission, the Community Energy Project, the Oregon Solar and Storage Industries Association (OSSIA) and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

“We are proud and excited to bring more world class partners into the community solar sector,” said Richard Keiser, founder and CEO of Common Energy, the company that manages subscribership. “We hope that Microsoft and Nike’s leadership on climate solutions will inspire other businesses and nonprofits to support community solar projects across the country.”

In December 2022, a ribbon-cutting celebration was held at the array’s location in Boring. The event was attended by a number of state and local government officials as well as representatives from Standard Solar, Microsoft and Common Energy.