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Solar-powered building coming to Bend’s Central District

Solar company's 'net zero' headquarters will have solar panels, EV charging stations

BEND, Ore. A Bend solar energy company has broken ground on a "net zero" energy-efficient, solar-powered headquarters in the city's Central District.

Sunlight Solar Energy will be relocating to a 14,000-square-foot, two-story building on Northeast Hawthorne Street, across from the BottleDrop Redemption Center.

The company specializes in solar power, electric vehicle charging and battery backup design and installation. The new building is expected to have more than 30,000 watts of solar panels, which will produce all of its electricity.

Sunlight Solar expects to complete the building by the end of summer. The company plans to occupy about half of the building and lease out the rest. The site will include several electric vehicle charging spaces.

NewsChannel 21 spoke Thursday with the company's president, Paul Israel, who said they chose the Central District because of the city's future plans for area. Transportation improvements in the district are part of the $180 million bond measure councilors agreed Wednesday evening to send to voters in May.

"The bond that we're all going to be voting on in May would have a pedestrian bike lane that would go across the parkway over to the west side, so this is really the nexus between the east and west," Israel said. "This is the area that's been slated by the city for real change and development."

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.



  1. Prove that there is ZERO connection to the grid and we might be impressed. Then show us the financial statements of the initial investment from Chinese made solar panels and the ROI on this “net zero” building. AND NO!!! You’re “carbon offsets” sent to the holy goreacle do not count.

    1. Also:

      They probably are connected to the grid for:

      A) when solar can’t meet their demand
      B) when they sell power to the grid to make money, should that be allowed

      It’s foolish not to be connected to the grid even if you’re full solar unless you don’t like money.

      Also: if the US would manufacture cost-competitive solar panels, of course we’d buy them. But we can’t produce cost-competitive solar panels, so we don’t. That’s the free market for you.

      And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The way to reduce a trade imbalance is to make more things other countries want to buy or get better at producing domestically the things you’re importing. That’s it. Tariffs are the highest form of free market interference and regulation.

      Also: if the goal is to reduce overall carbon, then offsets definitely count. That’s just arithmetic.

      You gotta start operating from a practical perspective, JBN. Principled moral high grounds don’t put rubber on the road.

    2. Really short sited and clueless you sound! but you probably impressed a bunch of other idiots! At least one has replied with an equally dumb comment!

  2. Coal is the answer!! That’s why little lyin donnie has been sooo successful in bringing it back!! Reverting back to dirty, low tech and expensive coal has brought back the tens of thousands of excellent, high paying jobs in perrenially failing red states. This is the way forward. Coal will make America great again. We’ll leave all those silly high tech advancements to China and Russia.
    Soooooo much winning!!!! Oh, and golfing, whining and lying!!!! ROFLOMA!!!!!! You should’ve stayed in school !!!!!! LOSING!!!!

  3. Sounds great, and the wave of the future whether you like it or not. What the whiners here are focusing on is simply accepted technology (collectors and connections to the grid for both buying and selling power). What may be cutting edge is not mentioned in the article, and that’s storage. I hope the development will install a state-of-the-art backup storage system to show how effective a totally independent system could work in our location.

    1. Well said. The article said they specialize in back up storage so my guess is they will not only have “net zero” but actually make more energy than they use.

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