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Power Hour | Homegrown Renewables: Micro Hydro

September 3, 2019

$65 – $75

The City of Bend’s Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) calls for Bend to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2025. In the OR 2021 legislative session, HB 2021, also known as the 100% Clean For All bill, passed which will allow communities to buy renewable energy from Pacific Power or PGE through a special rate structure and a long-term contract. Come learn what this means for meeting our renewable energy goals and you can help support this work. 

Central Oregon can and should be a leader in the local generation of renewable energy. We have rich resources to explore here in our backyard. As the community embarks on discussions around creating an energy plan for Deschutes County and as the City of Bend explores local generation opportunities to meet renewable energy goals laid out in the Community Climate Action Plan, now is the time for us to come together and learn about the resources that are available in our community. This series will explore homegrown opportunities to produce renewable energy right here in Deschutes County and beyond. 

We will kick off this event by learning about irrigation modernization with three local irrigation districts. These projects not only save water, they save energy and make renewable energy production a possibility for irrigation districts and rural communities. We’ll learn about modernization progress and renewable energy generation to date (spoiler: they are already producing A LOT of energy and more could be in the works) and what that could mean for our local energy and resiliency goals. 

These events are meant to be exploratory and not necessarily answer which sources of energy are the best for each community. Rather, we want to see communities engage in robust dialogue about what is available so that when it comes to making energy plans, we all have some foundational knowledge to work from.


Register for the tour

Meet our speakers 

Jer Camarata, General Manager, Swalley Irrigation District. Jer holds two degrees in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, a BLA and MLA with honors — regional resource planning, GIS and database, and land use were his acedemic focus. Jer has over twenty years experience in the water resource industry and has led two irrigation districts in Oregon — Swalley ID, Bend and Farmers ID, Hood River — taking responsibility for large-scale irrigation and hydropower infrastructure assets.

At Swalley, Jer strives to achieve environmentally and economically sustainable energy and irrigation service for the common good. As Swalley’s executive officer, he has charge of the staff, oversees field and office operations, proposes and manages budgets, spearheads strategic planning efforts, implements large-scale capital improvement projects, and is responsible for implementing and interpreting policy as well as engaging in and executing District negotiations, contracts, and agreements.

Marc Thalacker, Manager, Three Sisters Irrigation District.

Marc has been the manager of Three Sisters Irrigation District since 1997. As a farmer in Central Oregon since 1988 he has firsthand experience in the needs of irrigators. At the beginning of his irrigation management career Marc saw the writing on the wall and started pre-emptive measures to restore water to the creek while maintaining, and improving, water distribution to TSID patrons.

Over the last 25 years TSID has piped the district with HDPE pipe and installed the 700 kW Watson Hydroelectric facility, which generated close to 3 MW in 2016. The 200 kW Micro-Hydro Demonstration Project was installed in 2018. The current project is a 300 kW McKenzie Hydroelectric facility which will be completed in 2022.

Marc has been recognized for his work in conservation by various agencies and lauded by TSID patrons for his work in improving irrigation water distribution. His ultimate goal is to make TSID carbon neutral. Marc serves on several boards including Oregon Water Resources Congress and Family Farm Alliance and is actively involved in water and energy legislation.

Doug Watson, Director of Hydro, Central Oregon Irrigation District. Doug is a Central Oregon native that recently parted ways with the United States Navy to pursue his career and opportunities within the Hydro community. He has a degree in renewable energy from Northwest Renewable Energy Institute. More geared towards wind/solar until introduced to hydroelectric generation to which he saw a better way to benefit and impact his community. He works continuously to keep both of COID’s Powerhouse facilities running at peak performance. Upholding the highest of standards for his facilities through FERC license and keeping Siphon Power project with LEHI certification. He manages all aspects from the business side of operations to maintenance. Doug also took on the roll of modernizing and upgrading the COID irrigation system via remote operations and controls giving water management features to piping projects and paving the way for the future operations.


Register for the tour

Learn more about renewable energy goals in Central Oregon, the new green tariff program, and how you can support these efforts

Wednesday, June 29th, 5:00-7:00 @ The Environmental Center or tune in virtually. 



Deschutes Brewery
(541) 382-9242
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Deschutes Brewery Public House
1044 NW Bond St
Bend, OR 97701 United States
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