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City Light Community Solar Project Wins IREC Innovation Award

Seattle City Light’s Community Solar project has won a 2012 Innovation Award from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).


One of the solar picnic shelters at Jefferson Park in Beacon Hill.


Seattle City Light’s Community Solar project has won a 2012 Innovation Award from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

“Each year, IREC recognizes individuals and organizations for projects, programs and policies that are helping advance the understanding and use of renewable energy technologies in our cities, states and local communities,” said Ken Jurman, immediate past chair of IREC. “The 2012 Annual Innovation Awards acknowledge and shine a light on innovative initiatives that have made an impact in the categories of State and Local Government, K-12 Educational Programs, Community Renewables, and Clean Energy Workforce Development.”

City Light’s Community Solar project broke ground last year and consists of three solar picnic shelters at Jefferson Park. So far, the program has enrolled 468 residents and businesses owners who have made an upfront purchase of solar energy generation in exchange for receiving credit for the power produced along with a state production incentive. The utility is still accepting participants until the end of September. Learn more or sign up here.

“Through Community Solar, any City Light customer can purchase solar electricity, even if they can’t install their own solar panels,” Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said. “Despite our Rain City reputation, solar works in Seattle.”

In announcing the award, IREC said, “Seattle City Light’s Community Solar program exemplifies how a large municipal utility, with some of the lowest customer rates in the nation, can develop a program that increases customer engagement and access to solar.”

City Light developed the Community Solar project in partnership with Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Communities program.

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.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council Inc. is a non-profit organization accelerating the use of renewable energy since 1982. IREC’s programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing green workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs. Visit