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Highline High School Celebrates Solar Panel Installation, Thanks Community and Supporters for Multi-Year Project

On June 8, Highline High School’s Environmental Club leaders (Jordan Powers, Mikah Ramsey and Raidon Sann) invited funders, mentors and supporters to celebrate the completion of a monumental project: the installation of a 285-panel, 100-kilowatt solar-panel system to produce energy on top of the new school.

This project was unique in that it was student-led from the beginning. In the summer of 2020, former club president Nha Khuc asked a simple question: What would it take to put solar panels on the roof of the new Highline High School? It might have been a simple question, but it was a complex vision to realize. Through dozens of meetings and presentations, the students enlisted community members to raise awareness, build support, and secure funding during the 2020-2021 school year of distance learning.

Funding came from a variety of contributors: local donations, grant funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce, and Highline Public Schools’ capital funds. With the assistance of Customer Energy Solutions team members Shari Weir and Lisa Espinosa, Seattle City Light proudly contributed $125,000 in renewable energy credits for the project through the Green Up Community Program.

At the event, City Light Director of Customer Energy Solutions Joe Fernandi said, “Seattle City Light is proud to be a leader in supporting sustainable energy solutions for our region. And we are proud of this project and these young leaders.” 

Green Up is a voluntary renewable energy program that allows City Light customers to support Pacific Northwest wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects that generate carbon-free energy. When City Light customers participate in the Green Up program, City Light purchases renewable energy credits on behalf of our customers.

Energy solutions like solar benefit our communities. Highline’s new solar panels are adding clean, renewable energy to the local and regional power grid. Projects like this one are innovative and equitable; they increase access to clean energy and improve the health of our local communities and the region.

City Light is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Highline High School Environmental Club and to support the City of Burien’s Climate Action Plan. We are inspired by young leaders focusing their efforts on renewable energy projects to secure their energy future.

To see this project for yourself, the Washington State Department of Commerce has shared a 3-minute video it filmed to spotlight the project. Or you can read more on Highline Public Schools’ website: