Tapping rooftops for clean energy, Seattle communities are going solar together
Seattle City Light and nonprofit Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) are excited to announce a new partnership to accelerate clean energy adoption across the region.
The partnership will support group purchase campaigns to accelerate solar installations in Seattle City Light’s service territory. These campaigns are part of Solarize Washington, a community-driven initiative to bring solar energy to homes and businesses across the state. The program uses an innovative group buy process to achieve discounts and simplify the process of “going solar” for Seattle residents. Solarize campaign staff work with community groups and local solar installers to provide a streamlined process and free community workshops for participants.
“Supporting alternative energy projects is an important part of City Light’s energy resources portfolio,” City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco stated. “Clean, renewable energy reduces our impact on the environment while it powers the lights, computers and other devices we depend on every day.”
“Solarize makes it easier and more affordable for people interested in adding solar power to their homes to accomplish that goal,” adds Councilmember Mike O’Brien chairman of the Seattle City Council Energy & Environment Committee. “I am pleased to see City Light, a leader in clean energy efforts, working with Northwest SEED on bringing more solar projects to City Light customers.”
To date, Northwest SEED has completed three Solarize campaigns in the Seattle neighborhoods of Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Northeast Seattle, in addition to one campaign serving Stanwood and Camano Island. In just 18 months, these four campaigns have added 134 solar systems to the regional electric grid, totaling nearly 600 kilowatts of solar electricity capacity and investing $3.7 million in our local solar economy.
Hermien Watkins, who lives in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood, installed solar panels through the program this summer.
“We looked at participating in Solarize as a way to be careful stewards of the environment,” Watkins said.
“We loved that all of the research and information gathering was done for us,” she said. “We were busy with our working lives, so having the services provided for us was perfect. It made solar doable.”
The Solarize Washington partnership builds on a successful history of collaboration between Seattle City Light and Northwest SEED. Seattle City Light is a national leader in helping customers save money through conservation and clean energy measures. In addition to offering the lowest rates of any municipal utility of its size in the United States, City Light offers the country’s longest-running energy conservation program and was the first to achieve carbon neutrality. The upcoming Solarize offering will expand the menu of conservation and renewable energy programs available to Seattle City Light customers. Additional initiatives include the voluntary green power program Green Up, numerous residential and business incentives for energy efficiency, and the Seattle Community Solar project, which Northwest SEED helped to develop at Jefferson Park.
Seattle City Light and Northwest SEED are seeking to connect with Seattle residents who want to see a Solarize campaign come to their neighborhood. Interested community members can find the Solarize Washington Call for Partners online at www.solarizewa.org. Communities must notify Northwest SEED of intent to apply by Wednesday, Oct. 17. Proposals are due Wednesday, Oct. 24.
About Northwest SEED: Northwest SEED is a nonprofit 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 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction. www.seattle.gov/light.