Vern Spaur

Vern Spaur by Semester in the West
Vern Spaur, a photo by Semester in the West on Flickr.

Vern Spaur
Owner, SPS of Oregon
Wallowa County, OR
August 30, 2012

Vern Spaur is an innovator, mechanic, and professional tinkerer, he took these passions and created a power source from an under-utilized resource, a nearby stream. His tinkering produced a microhydro sytem which generates 11 kW of energy which is enough for him to power his home and sustain his mechanical hobbies. Vern’s microhydro system is an example of decentralized power which allows him to limit his reliance on the power grid. His path to creating renewable energy was not easy. In order to build, he persevered through the paperwork put forth by the Federal Energy Regulartory Commission (FERC) while collaborating with Wallowa Resources and other agencies. Despite his innovation and creativity, there was more to the construction of the microhydro system than simply the idea.

By Claire Meints and Aviva Prager

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