Power Oregon

Power Oregon History

Our History

Power Oregon is the assumed business name for the Oregon Energy Systems and Technology Research Alliance (OESTRA). OESTRA began as a one-man research project in 2006. Expansion came early when we affiliated with the Portland based Charitable Partnership Fund under its incubator program; a program dedicated to launching new non-profit initiatives. This relationship was instrumental in facilitating several key areas: financial support, network building, and project oversight. While the affiliation continues today, in 2014 the IRS granted OESTRA 501(c)(3) status and Oregon licensed OESTRA as an independent non-profit corporation.

An Advisory Board of business and policy experts from the public and private sectors was established to guide OESTRA’s work in 2009. In addition to its Board of Advisors, OESTRA has convened senior industry leaders, public officials, educators, economic experts, and policy consultants to consider the best way for Oregon to align the private sector with higher education to help advance and sustain the energy business sector’s recent growth. In addition to its own research, OESTRA has drawn from research done by the American Energy Innovation Council, Brookings-Rockefeller Foundations, Pew Charitable Trust, and others to frame its recommendations.

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Policy

OESTRA developed a core set of values to guide its research and policy recommendations. These may be considered “Critical Success Components” for its policy recommendations:

  • Build meaningful private sector/public sector partnerships, and have investments target real and emerging markets, in which private businesses will invest significant resources of their own.
  • Focus on existing, well-understood “competitive advantages” and avoid significant investments in sectors that, while attractive, don’t leverage uniquely local strengths.
  • Commit a “critical mass” of existing, long-term public/private investment, to give key public and private players confidence in a sustained commitment.
  • Establish an independent governance system that sets priorities, identifies stakeholders, participates in investments, and measures outcomes.
  • Recognize the key role that first-rate, academic talent plays in building programs, attracting top-tier innovators, training workforce talent, leveraging federal and private Research and Development dollars, and spawning new business enterprise.

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Publications

OREGON’S RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANTAGE, 2010.
This document identifies serious workforce shortages in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, evaluates Oregon’s research university capacity, and recommends the formation of a public/private initiative designed to train undergraduate and graduate students to staff emerging renewable energy companies in Oregon.

POWER OREGON, 2012.
A proposal submitted to the Oregon Innovation Council designed to identify and coordinate elements that would lead to sustained clean power technology growth, high-wage jobs, and an industry cluster that targets the creation of 8,600 new jobs in clean power technology companies by 2020.

A ROLE FOR ENERGY AND HIGHER EDUCATION IN OREGON’S PRIVATE SECTOR JOB GROWTH, 2012.
A policy document presented to a task force on job creation and economic development in the Governor’s Office.

ENERGY AT THE CROSSROADS, 2012.
A comprehensive compilation of data of supply and demand trends, price comparisons, environmental concerns, and emerging energy technologies. This document provides a framework for policymakers when considering the trends and technologies associated with traditional and emerging sources of energy.

OREGON POWER ENGINEERING EDUCATION PROJECT, 2013.
Published by Portland State University, Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, this study identifies workforce gaps, Oregon University System program deficiencies, and provides recommendations for a collaborative approach toward meeting Oregon’s power engineering needs by using existing programs more effectively and partnering with the private sector.

OREGON PUBLIC ENERGY EXPENDITURES: 2010 – 2013, published Fall 2014.
Published by Portland State University, Center for Public Services, Hatfield School of Government, and the Northwest Economic Research Center. The study gathered primary data from the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO), Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR), Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO), and the Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC). The study shows that Oregon spends approximately $400 million each year on energy policy. However, expenditures for energy research and talent development are negligible and declining.

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