In partnership with Seattle City Light, the waterfront Seattle Aquarium has announced plans to construct a massive solar panel array this fall for sustainable energy purposes. It is claimed to be the largest solar project ever installed on any West Coast aquarium.
The project is part of the broader Seattle City Light program dubbed the Community Solar project. “Adding sustainable energy into our operations allows us to maintain our leadership within the environmental community,” Aquarium Conservation Manager Mark Plunkett said in a release. The program allows Seattle residents to invest in City Light owned solar energy systems and will in turn receive credit on their electricity bills as well as clean solar power due to their prior investment. This project is part of a general citywide incentive to move Seattle towards sustainable energy and off of traditional fuels.
A majority of the Aquarium’s solar panels will produce energy for this program, as well as providing power on-site energy needs for the Aquarium. City Light estimates that each program participant would receive up to $150 worth of energy credit incentives for each solar panel purchased. You can check out details here.
City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco said in the release, “This partnership provides an iconic location to demonstrate how solar works in Seattle. Adding more solar to our community’s clean energy portfolio along with hydroelectric and wind power is one more way Seattle City Light serves as a good steward for our environment.” The installment is estimated to cost $330,000. Participation enrollment for Community Solar begins September 1.
Extra details from the release follow:
The 49 kilowatt project will cover much of the south side of the Seattle Aquarium’s roof. Most of the panels will produce electricity on behalf of City Light customers who want to buy solar power through the utility’s Community Solar program. The rest of the panels are being installed as a demonstration project through the utility’s voluntary Green Up renewable energy program with the electricity produced helping to power the Aquarium’s operations.
…Participants receive credit on their City Light bills for their portions of the solar panels’ output through 2020 along with all state production incentives. Together, those credits amount to $1.15 per kilowatt-hour. City Light estimates that participants will receive more than $150 worth of electricity and production incentives for each unit purchased by the end of their agreements. Details are available online at www.seattle.gov/communitysolar .
Enrollment in Community Solar project begins Sept. 1, but customers can reserve space by calling Program Manager Suzanne DuRard at (206) 684-3874.
The solar project will cost about $330,000 to install. Solar panels for the project are being purchased from Marysville-based Silicon Energy, promoting green jobs in Western Washington.
Seattle City Light is the 10th 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 nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.
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