March 27, 2024

Wyden, Merkley Announce Clean Energy Assistance for the City of Oakridge and Harney County

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Harney County and Oakridge have earned spots in a federal Department of Energy program providing technical assistance that helps disadvantaged communities and those with historical ties to fossil fuel industries take control of their clean energy future. 

“This federal investment will fuel communities that are quite literally running low on energy and need technical support to fill their tank,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these programs will help these communities achieve energy independence, create economic opportunities and enhance quality of life for the Oregonians who live there.”  

“Funding renewable energy resources is a win all around?that saves?Oregonians?money and creates good-paying jobs in?our rural communities. Investing in biomass has the additional benefit of keeping our forests more resilient to severe wildfires,” Merkley said. ?"The selection of the City of Oakridge and the Harney County High Desert Biomass Cooperative for the Communities LEAP program will provide crucial technical support to help these communities navigate energy challenges.” 

Through the Communities Local Energy Action program, Oakridge will identify the best renewable energy source – geothermal, micro-hydro, or solar – to efficiently establish energy independence and resilience. 

Harney County will tap into local biomass fuels as a renewable energy resource, while also designing and implementing training programs to create jobs for residents in the biomass energy industry.