Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center, Hampton Inn and Suites of Roseburg and two private residences, will be featured for this year’s Smart Energy Green & Solar Tour.

Saving Grace turned on its solar panels June 21 and began seeing improvement that first month. The facility is net metered with Pacific Power, allowing them to draw first on power generated by the solar array. Any extra power they produce goes into the Pacific Power grid.

“If there is anything extra that we need, we are still connected to the grid and can get power that way,” said Wendy Kang, executive director for Saving Grace.

Even with the improvement, the arrays are not enough to power the whole facility. According to Kang, about 45 percent of their electricity will come from the panels. A major part of their power goes to an air exchange that provides fresh air to the animals. This practice is very different from other animal centers, as the normal practice circulates air like an airplane.

The savings will also allow them to put money towards their major focuses, such as their spay and neuter program.

“At this point we are expanding our programs, for community cats in particular,” Kang said. “We are estimating we will spay and neuter an additional 1,000 cats in the coming year.”

Along with the new arrays, APEX blocks were used during construction of the building. The blocks offer a high insulation quality and are made of recycled material.

The tour will feature the solar array on the west kennel and the front of the building. The center also has a monitor in their lobby and a link on their website that allows viewers to see how much power the panels are generating minute-by-minute and the production history.

Hampton Inn and Suites of Roseburg, a four-story, 84 room luxury hotel on Mulholland, opened in April. It took over a year to build and replaced the Windmill Inn next door.

“We have LED lighting, Energy Star laundry and appliances, efficient gas water heating and low-flow faucets,” said Polly Johnson, president of Hanna Limited Partnership.

The energy efficient equipment saves the hotel about 138 kilowatts a year, which is comparable to the power used in 12 average American homes during the same time period.

Installation has begun on a solar array on the roof of the Hampton Inn. Johnson hopes to see the array up and running by the end of October.

“The savings is projected in about, what I believe, is a 7-to-10 year period,” Johnson said. “Any of the money we have used to put in the system will be recouped in that time.”

Hanna Family Inc., plans on developing the site of the old Windmill Inn into what will be known as “Hanna Heritage Place.” The property will contain new shops and stores. According to Johnson, the company plans to include energy efficient and green aspects to this new development as well.

“It was great working with Oregon Energy Trust and the energy folks. We have learned so much from this project,” Johnson said. “We will definitely include (energy efficiency) in any other project we can include them in.”

The Smart Energy Green & Solar tour will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 and include lunch and transportation between sites. Attendees will meet at Phoenix School, 3131 NE Diamond Lake Blvd., Roseburg. Email solartoursignup@gmail.com or call at 541-672-9819 to register.

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Community Reporter

Erica Welch is the special sections coordinator and a community reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ewelch@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4218.

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