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City of Seattle

June 22, 2:27 PM click here to comment > 4

Community Solar Project Makes Renewable Energy Available to All

Renewable energy sources like solar provide the opportunity to reduce our impact on the environment and protect the quality of life in our community. Not everyone can install a solar panel on their homes, but would still like to purchase renewable energy and help build a sustainable community. In order to fill that need, Mayor Mike McGinn announced yesterday that Seattle City Light customers can now purchase solar energy even if they can’t install solar panels on their homes.

City Light and Seattle Parks and Recreation are working together to install solar panels at Jefferson Park in Beacon Hill. The solar panels double as new picnic shelters at the park. The Community Solar project will allow up to 500 people to buy portions of the array’s electrical output through June 2020 for $600 per portion.

Mayor McGinn signed up as one of the first customers. Seattle City Light is accepting new enrollments – visit their Community Solar site to get more information and sign up to become a founding member.

The $300,000 solar project is being paid for by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to City Light and Northwest SEED, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing clean energy resources in the Pacific Northwest. Northwest SEED also evaluated more than 20 potential sites as part of developing the Seattle Community Solar project.

“Many people who would like to use solar energy are unable to do so because they live in apartments, condominiums or other homes without space to install the collector panels,” City Light Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said. “This community solar project eliminates that barrier and demonstrates that despite our Rain City reputation, solar works in Seattle.”

Catherine Hillenbrand was one of the first people to sign up for Community Solar today. “I’m really excited to enroll in Seattle’s Community Solar project because it’s a chance for me to participate in solar without having to put panels on my own roof,” she said.

Construction will take place as part of the Parks Department’s Beacon Mountain project, funded by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, which also includes a spray park, climbing boulders, slides and other amenities for summer fun. Beacon Mountain construction is expected to start in July and be finished early next year.

“Neighborhood residents have sought picnic shelters for Jefferson Park for 10 years, so we were happy to find a creative way to make that happen as an added bonus to the Community Solar project,” Acting Parks Deputy Superintendent Eric Friedli said.

Posted by: Robert Cruickshank

Comments

Comment from Matt Hutchins
Time July 20, 2011 at 11:45 am

Great to see this!

This is very similar to what Sunset Hill was proposing for their pocket park last year:

http://www.castarchitecture.com/blog/final-sunset-substation-park-renderings/

Comment from duane
Time July 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Need to see more of this done by city and state governments.

Comment from Bang4UrBuck
Time December 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

they say each $600 panel will produce 50KWH of electricity per year! wow!! At .08cents a KWH that’s $4.00 worth of electricity!!!

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Time May 7, 2012 at 4:56 am

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