The SolWest keynote is just one of many activities over the
three-day weekend. In over 50 workshops, Paul (plus more than thirty
other presenters) will share practical, hands-on tips for living the
self-reliant life. Workshops will cover not only the hardware and
tools for living, but the skills to allow you to become independent
from "the grid."
Check out a few of the workshop titles submitted already this
year: Calculating Your Carbon Footprint, Solar Hot Water Theory and
Design, Retrofitting Your Vehicle for Efficiency, Automated Off-Grid
Solar Electric Systems, Integrating Local Biofuels into Your Energy
Strategy, Sun-Wind-Water-Muscles-Fingers & Thumbs, and Renewable
Natural Gas!? We're still looking for more volunteers to share their
skills and knowledge with our fairgoers, so give us a call!
Extended workshops before SolWest's official opening at 1pm
Friday include MidNite Solar technical training (NABCEP-approved),
and a hands-on solar hot water installation class. John Patterson of
Mr. Sun Solar, one of our favorite instructors, will be teaching the
Solar Hot Water Theory and Installation (which is approved for
4-hours of Oregon BCD Continuing Education).
As more people acquire the longing to live sustainably in
balance with the earth's supply of raw materials and energy, events
like SolWest are filling a need for education and sourcing. Over the
last 15 years, SolWest has helped the people of eastern Oregon learn
to value renewable energy and sustainability for what it can do for
our quality of life in the region.
Exhibitors Assist You with Sustainability
SolWest exhibitors provide necessary supplies for the
self-reliant life, including solar, wind and water-power hardware,
"green" building materials, books on "how-to"
(and why), forestry tools and consulting, and energy conservation tools.
We're expecting most of our same exhibitors returning from
last year, and a few new ones. You'll be able to buy culinary herbs
and herbal first-aid kits, do-it-yourself solar hot water systems,
complete solar electric systems, small hydroelectric (water-powered)
generators, and more.
the SolWest SwapMeet again!
This year, the SolWest Swap Meet will be run by the Grant
County Fairgrounds on Sunday July 29, from 9am to 3pm on the Pavilion
parking lot. Look for local vendors, as well as those coming from out
of the area just for SolWest. Buy, sell, trade, have a great time
just looking and talking! Your trash might be someone else's
treasure, and you might find just the tools you need for a self-reliant
Share, Eat at the Elk Camp Café
Sue Newstetter of the Elk Camp Café has proposed a
hands-on session of cooking, schmoozing, sharing experiences,
exchanging solar cookery tips, and (finally) eating. This will be
longer than a regular SolWest class, so come prepared for a great
social event aimed at solar chefs and would-be chefs. Bring your
solar cooker, and a simple dish to cook and share. A few extra solar
cookers will be available.
Portland videographer Bob Foster became a SolWest fan a couple
years back, and he is compiling a video from the scenes he's captured
at the last two events. If you "like" EORenew
on facebook, you can be one of the first to find out when we
post the video on YouTube!
Cars, and More!
The electric highway from the west side of Oregon includes a
new route via Central Oregon, in addition to the route up the John
Day River from The Dalles that we've been using for the last three
years. Check with us for charging stations.
signs indicate that this will be the last SolWest to be put on by
EORenew in John Day. It's difficult not to be sad, but here's another
way to look at it: Fifteen years ago, they told us we were crazy to
try holding a major event like SolWest in a remote location like John
Day. If someone had told us at the time that we'd not only succeed,
we'd do it for fifteen years, we'd have jumped for joy! We're PROUD
of our accomplishments, and how much of a difference we've made for
our community (and that includes all of you, near and far). We are
working hard to make it the best event possible. Won't you join us
from the Chair:
As you will read in this issue of the Energy Independence
SOL-UTIONS, EORenew is running out of steam. While the folks running
the train, and especially the intrepid Jennifer Barker, are as avid
as ever in our commitment to our mission: empowering people to
increase their energy efficiency and use of solar, wind, and other
renewables, we are finding that our current incarnation as an
organization, which includes our current physical location, has
ceased to be sustainable. This year's SolWest Fair will be our last
one to be held in John Day, and afterwards we will officially
dissolve EORenew as an organization.
Through many years, some SolWest attendees have repeatedly urged us
to consider moving the venue of the SolWest Fair as a strategy for
increasing our support base. While that option did not seem viable
for our little organization, we have taken the advice seriously as we
search for the most appropriate re-incarnation. Although a formal
deal has not yet been made, so details are not yet public, I am
pleased to let you know that we are creating a plan to allow the
SolWest Fair to continue, located in a larger population center but
still in our beautiful Eastern Oregon. Our remaining assets would be
transferred to the non-profit organization that will take over
putting on the fair, and current members of EORenew would be offered
the option of being made members of the other non-profit.
While sadness is certainly a part of the natural reaction to the end
of anything that has been important, please join us also in starting
to feel the excitement of new things to come. As SolWest rounds a
bend and finds new life, so will many of us find new roles to play as
we continue to promote renewable technologies. SolWest will still
need us as it heads into the future: supporters and volunteers and
vendors and fairgoers. And, in the meantime, please do hop on board
and let us know you plan to be at SolWest in John Day this July! It's
time to celebrate 15 years of something really special.
Board of Directors
for the heat
Does Outdoor School
Each year in the spring, EORenew takes our energy show to the
woods! The schools of Grant County give spring fever its due by
loading up the buses and heading for the hills one day each year.
In fall 2012, Bonneville power Administration awarded a small
educational grant to EORenew to polish up our Outdoor School
presentation, "Energy is All Around Us." It's ready to take
on the road, so if your school has an outdoor day, just let us know.
We'll either attend or, if you're far away, we'll be happy to send
you the activity guide.
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