Northwest Seattle is gearing up for solar! Seattle City Light and nonprofit Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) are excited to announce that Northwest Seattle will host the next deployment of Solarize Washington, an innovative group purchase program that helps residents and businesses tap into more affordable solar energy.
The Solarize program simplifies and streamlines the process of buying, installing and connecting solar. The Northwest Seattle campaign will offer free workshops, free solar site assessments, and discounted pricing to Seattle residents and businesses located in zip codes 98103, 98107, 98117, 98133, and 98177. Participants will have the opportunity to become engaged, energy savvy citizens by learning about solar energy, connecting with their neighbors, and achieving significant savings.
Solarize Seattle: Northwest will be the sixth campaign in Northwest SEED’s Solarize Washington program (www.solarizewa.org). The campaign builds on a successful partnership between Northwest SEED and Seattle City Light, 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.
“Northwest SEED is excited to launch our next Solarize campaign in partnership with Seattle City Light,” says Northwest SEED’s Executive Director, Jennifer Grove. “With utility support, the partnership will build on the success of our five prior Solarize campaigns, while expanding the reach of our program by making solar energy more affordable and accessible to Northwest Seattle residents.”
The Solarize effort will be supported by several Northwest Seattle organizations, including the Phinney Neighborhood Association, Sustainable Greenwood-Phinney, Phinney Ridge Community Council, Greenwood Community Council, Green Lake Community Council, Wallingford Meaningful Movies, and Sustainable Seattle. Volunteers from these supporting organizations will spearhead outreach and provide neighborhood resources to those interested in joining the Solarize campaign. This coalition of community groups is currently seeking additional community organizations and members to assist with competitive contractor selection and community outreach.
“We’ve been building momentum for nearly a year to bring the next Solarize campaign to our neighborhoods,” says Bill Thorness, Phinney Ridge resident and a lead organizer for the effort. “And we have a lot of people here committed to sustainable living, which I think will make this the most successful Solarize campaign to date.”
Nearly 200 neighborhood residents have already indicated early interest in Solarize Seattle: Northwest. The limited-time campaign intends to install 150 solar systems Northwest Seattle by summer of 2013. To date, Northwest SEED has completed three Solarize campaigns in the Seattle neighborhoods of Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Northeast Seattle, in addition to two campaigns serving Stanwood, Camano Island, and Mukilteo. In less than two years, these five campaigns have added 138 solar systems to the regional electric grid, totaling more than 600 kilowatts of solar electricity capacity and investing $3.8 million in our local solar economy.
“We’re seeing more and more customers ask us about how they can install solar panels at their homes,” City Light Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said. “Solarize is a great way to make that process easier and more affordable. Seattle City Light hopes to continue its partnership in other neighborhoods.”
Registration for Solarize Seattle: Northwest will open in January 2013. Northwest Seattle residents who want to be notified when registration opens should complete the “Bring Solarize to Me” form found online at www.solarizewa.org. Registration is open to Seattle residents and businesses in zip codes 98103, 98107, 98117, 98133, and 98177. Free educational workshops will be held throughout the registration period. For additional information, visit www.solarizewa.org.
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.