Free Solar Power System Awarded to Highland Park Improvement Club


Board members of the Highland Park Improvement Club standing at the site of the future solar array.
Highland Park Improvement Club board members at the site of the future solar array

The Highland Park Improvement Club (HPIC) will receive a donated solar photovoltaic system to generate renewable energy for their facility if enough homes in southwest Seattle neighborhoods choose to install solar electric systems in the coming months.

The donated solar electric system 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 through a group purchase of solar electric systems at a discounted price.Participants in the project attend a free public workshop to learn how solar energy works in Seattle and to qualify for a free site assessment for their home or business.

The solar electric system will be donated by Puget Sound Solar and Artisan Electric, the Solarize Southwest project’s competitively-selected solar installation team, if 50 project participants sign contracts to install solar.

“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.”

HPIC was selected by the Solarize Southwest Community Coalition, a volunteer group of individuals who led the award selection process.The competitive application process took into account the suitability of the facility to generate solar electricity on site and to serve as a public educational tool.

“A solar photovoltaic system would not only help HPIC to be more energy efficient,” says HPIC President Rhonda Smith, “but would also provide additional learning and teaching opportunities.”

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 is approximately a $19,000 value and will provide the host organization with an additional value of up to $2,800 per year in electricity savings and Washington State production incentive payments.

Registration for Solarize Southwest is open to Seattle and Burien residents who live in the geographic area bordered by downtown Seattle to the north, I-5 to the east, and within Seattle City Light service territory. Free educational workshops will be held on Sept 10, Sept 17, and Oct 4. For more information and to pre-register for a workshop, visit

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.

About Highland Park Improvement Club: HPIC’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the neighborhood by providing a gathering place, hosting neighborhood programs, and sustaining a platform for community engagement.

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