During Saturday’s Jefferson Park Jubilee, Seattle City Light will open a new solar canopy that will provide an overlook of the park and its new Beacon Mountain play area and spraypark.
“Visitors to Jefferson Park will now have a great spot to take in views of the downtown skyline or watch their children play while Seattle Parks uses the power of the sun to help people cool off on hot summer days,” Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said.
The canopy, which some people have compared to a tree house, was built with 20 made-in-Washington solar panels that form its roof. The panels are designed to generate up to 4 kilowatts of electricity, which would power most, if not all, of the spray park’s anticipated annual electricity use. Anytime the park is not using all the electricity generated by the solar panels, that electricity would flow into City Light’s distribution system.
Construction cost about $40,000. The project was paid for with money from the voluntary Green Up! Renewable energy program, which can be used to develop local renewable energy projects.
In March, City Light started producing electricity from its Jefferson Park Community Solar project. Those panels also provide roofs for three picnic shelters. City Light customers can buy a portion of the electricity generated by the Community Solar project for $600. See details here.
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.