Free Solar Power System and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to be Awarded to Qualifying Community Organizations in Seattle and Burien
The Solarize Southwest Community Coalition is seeking applications from qualified community organizations who would like to have a donated solar photovoltaic system installed at their facility to generate renewable energy for the facility and to use as an educational tool. The Coalition is also seeking applications from qualified businesses who would like an electric vehicle (EV) charging station installed free of charge in order to provide vehicle charging services to their customers.
The donated equipment serves as a community award for participation in Solarize Southwest, a project of Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) and Seattle City Light that is designed to accelerate solar energy installations in southwest Seattle and Burien neighborhoods through a group purchase of solar electric systems at a discounted price. Participants in the project attend a free public workshop to learn the technical and economic aspects of how solar energy works and to qualify for a free site assessment for their home or business. The Community Coalition is comprised of individual volunteers and local non-profits, such as Sustainable West Seattle and Sustainable Burien.
Through a competitive bidding process, the Solarize Southwest Community Coalition pre-selected Puget Sound Solar and Artisan Electric as the project’s solar installation team. As part of the project, these contractors provide solar systems at discounted rates to project participants. In addition, this contractor team offered to donate a solar electric system and as many as four EV charging stations to local community organizations or businesses as a reward for the Solarize project reaching pre-determined installation targets. The solar electric system will be awarded when 50 project participants have gone solar; an EV charging station will be donated for each additional 50 participants that go solar.
Qualifying community organizations and businesses must be located in southwest Seattle or Burien neighborhoods and within Seattle City Light service territory, must own their building or have a minimum 10-year lease, must be open and inclusive in serving diverse community members, and provide a highly visible site with good access for the public to see and learn about the solar energy system or EV charging station.
“This is a very visible way for the homeowners to give something back to the community when they install solar,” said Evan Leonard, Vice President of Artisan Electric. “Our goal is to increase solar awareness and build community, so donating systems based on project benchmarks made a lot of sense.”
The donated solar electric system will be rated at 4.4 kilowatts (kW) and will include all equipment and labor required for a rooftop installation, in addition to 10 years of maintenance service (the system itself has a life expectancy of at least 25 years). The award of a 4.4 kW solar installation is approximately a $19,400 value for the installation and an additional value of up to $2,800 per year in electricity savings and Washington State production incentive payments. The donated EV charging station has a value of approximately $2,400 for equipment and labor.
The Request for Applications can be found at www.solarizewa.org. The deadline has been extended for submitting an application to August 21, 2014.
About Northwest SEED: Northwest SEED is a non-profit organization that empowers community scale clean energy through expert guidance that combines technical support, community education and practical implementation. www.nwseed.org.
About Seattle City Light: Seattle City Light is the tenth largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.