Seattle City Light’s Community Solar Project Helps Utility Customers Get the Biggest Bang for their Buck

Seattle City Light is celebrating full-enrollment for the Community Solar project in Capitol Hill, located on the roof of an affordable housing complex managed by the non-profit organization Capitol Hill Housing.

Community Solar is an innovative program that provides Utility customers with the opportunity to participate in Washington State’s burgeoning solar industry, without having to install an array on one’s own roof. The program is designed as an affordable pathway for Seattle renters, homeowners and business owners who want to ‘Go Solar’, but at a size and cost that works for them. This is one of the many reasons City Light’s program has been replicated by electric utilities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While many customers opted-in to a single share of the latest Community Solar project (above), Seattle City Light would like to recognize a few of the many Solar Sponsors who went above-and-beyond.

 

     

 

 

Here is some feedback we received from a few of our Solar Sponsors explaining why Community Solar was a great fit for their business:

Rhein Haus Seattle & Poquitos

“We couldn’t have been more excited when we learned about the Community Solar program. Being able to invest in renewable clean energy is fantastic in and of itself; to be able to do so while additionally supporting Capitol Hill Housing, our favorite neighborhood non-profit, makes this program a perfect fit for us. We can only hope that such a unique and relevant program continues to grow and provide further opportunities for Seattle citizens to join.” – Rich Fox, Operating Owner of Rhein Haus Seattle & Poquitos

Capitol Hill EcoDistrict

“The EcoDistrict is supported by Capitol Hill Housing and the Community Solar array is installed on one of our affordable apartment buildings, the Holiday. Capitol Hill Housing will benefit from the program long term, as ownership of the solar array will transfer to us in 2020. We really believed in this project and thought it made good sense to invest in it ourselves.” – Amy Allsopp, Communications Manager at Capitol Hill Housing

Rainbow Natural Remedies

“Our decision to participate in the Community Solar program was an easy one. We wanted to help our community succeed in this project by our being a participating member and we also wanted to increase the overall awareness of the practicality for solar powered systems. As owner of Rainbow Natural Remedies I enjoy living in my Seattle home that is, itself, net-zero energy due to my home’s solar panels. So I know and live first-hand the benefits of a solar photovoltaic system.” – Ross Kling, Owner of Rainbow Natural Remedies

A&R Solar

“A&R Solar is proud to be a participant in the Seattle City Light community solar program as a “Solar Sponsor.” We loved that this particular project not only benefits our local community by increasing the amount of solar in Seattle’s energy mix, but that it also directly reduces operating costs for low-income housing provider Capitol Hill Housing.” – Ryan Ceurvorst, Marketing Director at A&R Solar

Molly Moon

“Here at Molly Moon’s, we love being on the cutting edge of ideas that are good for the community and good for the environment! We are excited to support Community Solar because it benefits us and our neighbors by making and using more solar energy.” – Emilia Arnold, Project Manager at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream

Additional sponsors include Eagle Rock Ventures LLC, Rock Box, Capitol Hill Cider, and Central Co-Op.

 

Thank you again to our Solar Sponsors, and to all Community Solar participants!

Please feel free to check out the Community Solar website for more information about this program.

Seattle City Light administers the Washington State Production Incentive for customers who generate renewable energy like solar, as well as provide generous net-metering benefits. Paired with the 30 percent federal tax credit for purchasing a solar array and the decreasing cost of solar modules, many of our customers have enjoyed a 4- to 6-year payback on their home solar projects and/or Community Solar participation. Find out how much energy the Capitol Hill system is generating by visiting our solar energy monitoring dashboard, and feel free to contact an Energy Advisor with any renewable energy and conservation related questions about you may have: (206) 684-3800 – SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov

Power from the Sun and Support for Affordable Housing

Workers install the panels for Seattle City Light’s latest Community Solar project.

Seattle City Light’s latest Community Solar project can provide you with energy from the Sun today and it will help power affordable housing in the future.

The 26 kilowatt system is being installed on the roof of the Holiday Apartments, an affordable housing building owned by Capitol Hill Housing (CHH).  CHH provides low-income housing to over 1700 Seattle residents and actively works to create equitable and sustainable communities in central Seattle. CHH also leads the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, a neighborhood initiative that works to address Capitol Hill’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

Community Solar lets renters, condo owners or those who don’t want to buy a whole system get the benefits of a solar array built by City Light and shared by the community. 

Locations are chosen for solar exposure and connection to the greater community. The host must have an obvious commitment to and connection with conservation. Customers purchase virtual pieces of the system – solar units – for $150 each. State incentives and City Light energy credits pay back that contribution and should even pay out something extra. When the project ends, City Light donates the system to the host – providing free, clean, electricity to offset their operating costs and further their conservation mission.

Why participate?

  • “This is the democratization of solar power,” says Joel Sisolak, EcoDistrict Project Director for CHH. You don’t have to own a solar system, much less a house. Anyone with a City Light account can sign up.
  • Annual credits pay you back by 2020.
  • Your purchase of solar unit(s) supports Capitol Hill Housing by keeping their operating costs down.
  • Adding solar to the grid further diversifies City Light’s clean energy power sources, freeing up more green, hydropowered electricity to be sold to utilities that burn fossil fuels for their power.
  • Enhance City Light’s efforts to educate customers that “solar works in Seattle.”
  • A successful community solar project at the Holiday Apartments will lead to future community solar efforts directed towards Capitol Hill’s many renters that can be led by CHH itself.

Go to seattle.gov/communitysolar for more details, or if you have questions about the project, please call or email a Seattle City Light Energy Advisor at 206-684-3800 or SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov.