Solar energy is currently powering hundreds of Seattle homes, and residents of Capitol Hill, the Central District, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, and other central and southeast Seattle neighborhoods are about to get a special opportunity to add their rooftops to our city’s growing solar array. Through a nonprofit-led program called Solarize Seattle, homes and small businesses can qualify for special pricing and take advantage of many incentives that make solar installations more affordable than ever.
Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) and Seattle City Light are working with several community groups to launch Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast, a solar energy education and installation program that starts today and runs through October. The program will be co-led by a community coalition of local volunteers, which will spearhead neighborhood outreach. Supporting organizations include Sustainable Seattle, Sustainable Capitol Hill, and Sustainable Central District.
The campaign features a group-buy program that provides a streamlined process for residents and small businesses to purchase solar systems for a discounted price. Participants learn how solar works in Seattle, how it is installed, what tax and production incentives are available to bring the price down, and how low-interest financing can spread out the cost. The limited-time campaign intends to install over 200 kilowatts of solar energy in central and southeast Seattle by the end of 2013.
Through a competitive bidding process, the Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast Community Coalition selected Puget Sound Solar and Artisan Electric as the project’s solar installation team. These contractors will offer solar systems at discounted rates to project participants.
Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast will be the seventh campaign of Northwest SEED’s Solarize Washington program (www.solarizewa.org). Northwest SEED’s four campaigns in Seattle have resulted in over 1 MW of solar added to the city’s electric grid. To date, Solarize Washington campaigns have educated over 1,750 people at public workshops, encouraged nearly 300 residents to install solar on their homes, and injected more than $7.5 million into the local solar economy.
Registration for Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast is open to Seattle residents who live in the geographic area bordered by the Montlake cut to the north, I-5 to the west, Lake Washington to the east, and the City of Seattle boundary to the south. Free educational workshops will be held on Jul. 23, Aug. 15, Aug. 27, and Sep. 18. For more information, visit www.solarizewa.org.
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. www.nwseed.org.
About Seattle City Light: 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. www.seattle.gov/light.