Morning Roundup: Audit finds suspicious energy tax credits; SolarWorld considers settlement

In today’s news, an audit finds issues with Oregon energy tax credits, SolarWorld considers a settlement and the Evergreen Museum is safe.

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1. Audit finds issue with $347 million in Oregon energy tax credits

The first independent audit of Oregon’s energy tax credit program found more than 25% of credits issued were improper or violated rules. The Oregonian reports the audit found concern with about $347 million in tax credits issued by the Oregon Department of Energy. The projects in question were not immediately identified. The investigation into the controversial program was launched last fall. The investigator found issues ranging from conflicts of interest and projects that never became operational, to suspicious cost documents.

2. In other renewable energy news, SolarWorld schedules mediation talk

SolarWorld may be considering a settlement with Hemlock Semiconductor, the Portland Business Journal reports. SolarWorld was ordered to pay $793 million for reneging on a contract agreement to purchase polysilicon from Hemlock for its solar panels. A mediation conference is set for Sept. 19.

3. Will Coos Bay get its wind farm?

Rumors that power from a Coos Bay wind farm would be too expensive to purchase appear to be true, as The Oregonian reports Principle Power pulled its lease request for the offshore wind farm. Principle Power had already obtained more than $4 million in federal funding for the project. 

4. Evergreen Museum is safe

The Falls Event Center officially purchased the bankrupt Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum campus, keeping the campus safe from closure. The Newberg Graphic reports the Utah-based event company will keep the museum as is, potentially expanding the museum’s educational component.

5. Oregon BEST announces new startup investment

Another Portland startup will benefit from Oregon BEST’s Early Stage Funding Program. IOTAS received a $250,000 investment to further develop its smart energy technology. IOTAS connects to smart devices in the home and considers ways to reduce energy consumption. Read more here.

6. Bend company makes agreement with Airbus

Airbus Helicopters will soon feature a bird-strike prevention system made by Bend’s Precise Flight Inc. The Bend Bulletin reports Precise Flight entered into an agreement with Airbus to provide the system on all helicopters marketed in the U.S. The Pulselite Bird Strike Prevention System is the only one of its kind certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

7. Umatilla says ‘no’ to poker school

The Lamplighter Motel in Umatilla will soon host a card room, but not the dealer school envisioned by the motel manager. The city council denied the request to open the Oregon Dealers Institute of the Northwest, a school which would have trained students as professional poker dealers. The East Oregonian reports the denial was based on a zoning rule disallowing standalone gambling businesses.