The Millionair Club in Belltown has created an urban farm right in their basement with the help of energy efficiency rebates from Seattle City Light.
The Millionair Club, established in 1921, serves more than 90,000 meals a year and provides work and other essential services to address homelessness and unemployment right here in Seattle. In November they finished the creation of a 250-square foot urban garden that grows enough vegetables to serve 19,200 bowls of salad a year. The greens will be served in their meals program, as well as donated to partner nonprofits and sold to local businesses.
The project utilizes a hydroponics system in order to grow the vegetables without soil. According to Urban Harvest founder Chris Bajuk, who created the system, this allows plant growth that is 20 times more productive than a similar-sized garden using agricultural soil. Bajuk told KOMO News, “The whole idea is to grow food right here in the city, proximate to where people live and work, rather than 1,500 miles away.”
The key to growing these plants in a basement is a special system of LED LumiGrow Pro 325 lighting fixtures – the most expensive part of the project, made affordable thanks to the help of a Seattle City Light rebate program. The lights allow the plants to grow and also kill viruses and bacteria from the system’s water.
The LED lighting system allows the Millionair Club to save 40,333 kilowatt-hours per year compared to standard lighting, a cash savings of $3,025 a year off their electric bills. Seattle City Light’s Energy Conservation program provided a $10,204 incentive as a rebate in support of the creation of the lighting system, making the urban garden project more financially feasible for the Millionair Club.
Seattle City Light offers a wide variety of rebates and discounts, energy assessments and tools that can help you reduce your energy usage and lower your electric bill. More information about City Light’s energy conservation efforts and rebates can be found here.