Seattle City Light Announces $1 Million of Green Up Grants

Thanks to the generous contributions of Seattle City Light customers, seven local organizations will receive Green Up grants totaling nearly $1 million to support renewable energy projects and education. The seven organizations will use the grants to help install solar panels at 14 public school, affordable housing, and community-based locations.

“Over 13,000 generous community members are investing in a clean, sustainable energy future by sending a few dollars each month to purchase renewable energy credits through our Green Up program,” said City Light Customer Energy Solutions Director Craig Smith. “City Light is proud to be the steward of this grant and part of the community partnership that will benefit our schools, affordable housing, parks, and hospitals.”

Grant recipients are:

  • Seattle Public Schools – $150,000 for solar installations at Bailey Gatzert Elementary, Ballard High School, Denny International Middle School, South Shore K-8 School, Hazel Wolf K-8 ESTEM School and Arbor Heights Elementary
  • King County Parks — $119,014 for a solar installation at the Steve Cox Community Center
  • Seattle Parks — $50,000 for a solar installation at the Brig at Magnuson Park
  • Seattle Colleges — $200,000 for a solar installation at Seattle Central College
  • Harborview Medical Center — $50,000 for a solar installation at the hospital
  • Capitol Hill Housing – three grants totaling $225,000 for solar installations at three affordable housing complexes – the Elizabeth James House, Ponderosa Apartments and El Nor Apartments
  • Pacific Science Center — $164,851 for a solar installation at the center

“We will soon be able to power the White Center community center and the adjacent basketball court using only clean, renewable energy,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. “Our partnership with Seattle City Light will accelerate the work we are doing to transform Steve Cox Memorial Park into a model for sustainable operations.”

“Seattle Public Schools’ goal is to optimize energy conservation through cost-effective practices. We are grateful for the Seattle community members who contribute to Green Up and to Seattle City Light for this grant of $150,000. It will help us fund an energy efficiency project utilizing solar technology at six of our schools,” said Flip Herndon, Seattle Public Schools’ associate superintendent of capital, facilities and operations.

“We are thrilled to receive a Green Up grant award from Seattle City Light. With this award, Pacific Science Center will be installing a rooftop solar panel array, not only to make our campus more energy efficient, but also to create hands-on guest experiences focused on renewable energy,” said Chris Wheaton, Chief Operating & Financial Officer of Pacific Science Center. “We’re looking forward to introducing our community to a real-word application of clean tech innovation, enabled by Seattle City Light’s generosity and leadership.”

“This grant will allow us reduce the operating costs of our buildings and serve more low-income families and individuals. It’s a great way to keep renewable energy credits local and ensures that the beneficiaries are local residents who need it the most,” said McCaela Daffern, Capitol Hill Housing sustainability manager.

ABOUT GREEN UP

Green Up is a voluntary program that allows City Light customers to support renewable energy development and education by donating an extra $3 or more on their utility bills. Green Up funds are used to purchase renewable energy credits, and remaining contributions are used to pay for projects such as Sonic Bloom at Pacific Science Center and solar installations on three residence halls at the University of Washington. The program has expanded to provide direct grant funding for solar or other renewable energy installations and education projects in Seattle City Light’s service territory. To learn more, visit: http://www.seattle.gov/light/Greenup/

Interested in contributing to Green Up? Sign up here: http://www.seattle.gov/light/Greenup/for-home.asp 

Solar and innovation grants of up to $200,000 were awarded for renewable energy installations by public, nonprofit or educational organizations with a system size of less than 100 kilowatts. Projects must be connected to City Light’s distribution grid and equipped with a monitoring system. Education grants of up to $5,000 support projects that have a focus on educating students about renewable energy, such as curriculum development, research, extracurricular activities, supplies and teacher training.

 

Green Up Supports Renewable Energy with $1,000,000 in Grants

As one of the nation’s greenest utilities, Seattle City Light works hard to provide various ways customers can go green. Our Green Up program, which allows customers to support renewable energy development and education by paying an extra $3 or more on their utility bills, is a prime example of this. Since its inception in 2005, Green Up has been a popular customer choice, with nearly 18,000 participants in its lifetime.

Today, we’re proud to share that Green Up will support renewable energy projects and education programs at schools, public institutions and nonprofit organizations by providing $1,000,000 in grants, with $400,000 in 2017 and $600,000 in 2018. This is a significant marker for Green Up which previously distributed funds on an ad hoc basis with projects like Sonic Bloom at Pacific Science Center and solar residence halls at the University of Washington. Now, the program will provide direct grant funding for solar or other renewable energy installation and education projects in City Light’s service territory on a consistent funding cycle.

Education grants of up to $5,000 are intended to support projects that have a focus on educating students about renewable energy such a curriculum development, research, extracurricular activities, supplies and teacher training. Solar and innovation grants will focus on renewable energy installations by public, nonprofit and educational organizations. Most awards are expected to range from $25,000 – $50,000, with the maximum grant at $200,000.

For additional information, including application deadlines and program requirements, click here.

We Power: 10 Seattle Summer Attractions

It takes great power to make the Seattle area as exciting as it is; power that’s fueled by people and technology. Unlike some electric utilities that are driven by investors, City Light is a publicly owned utility which answers to its customers. Together, we power some pretty amazing things and we do it carbon free.

Summer is right around the corner and you’re probably planning your time in the sun right now. Here’s a top 10 list of “we power” summer attractions to help you appreciate how we do things in Seattle.

UW, Seattle City Light Partner on Solar Testbed Installation

The University of Washington is installing solar panels on three residence halls in partnership with Seattle City Light’s Green Up program to support research on clean energy and smart grid technology.

“This project will put our students in the middle of a quiet revolution, the digitization of energy,” said UW Clean Energy Institute Director Daniel Schwartz. “Setting up a major new testbed facility takes vision and partners, so we truly appreciate the way local industry, the state, and federal funders came together to support the UW team.”

Seattle City Light’s Green Up program is contributing $225,000 toward the purchase of the solar panels. This contribution enabled the UW to compete for the Washington State Department of Commerce Solar Grant Program, which is also giving $225,000 in matching funds.

The panels will be placed on Elm, Alder and Maple halls this fall, and the combined installation will act as a testbed for research on how solar energy can be combined with other demand-side resources such as battery systems, in order to provide controllable power and voltage support. In addition to the solar panels, the project will include advanced meters, communications equipment, a battery system and control center.

The student group UW Solar has been involved from the beginning, working closely with UW staff and faculty to analyze the buildings for viability, drawing up necessary plans, selecting appropriate technology, writing up requests for proposals and identifying the most competitive bid.

“An exciting aspect of this project, in addition to the number of people who helped make it happen, is the number of people who benefit from it,” said Marilyn Ostergren, UW’s renewable energy liaison. “Students gain experience they can use to promote solar installations elsewhere, faculty further their research into integrating renewable energy into the grid, and Housing & Food Services get the power.”

The solar panels are estimated to generate about 100,000 kWh per year. Once it is operational in the fall of 2016, the “control center” will give undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to observe and analyze the energy consumption of campus buildings and how the solar production affects the profile of the overall campus demand.

“Seattle City Light is excited to partner with the UW and the State of Washington on this innovative project, which utilizes solar energy to augment the utility’s clean energy supply, provides ‘learn by doing’ educational opportunities for students, and enables the UW to further its cutting-edge  grid management research that will be shared with the utility and the region,” said Craig Smith, Director of Seattle City Light’s Customer Energy Solutions Division.

Another $115,000 for the project’s smart inverters will be provided from another grant from the US Department of Energy and WA Department of Commerce. This grant supports a large joint research project by the UW, Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on transactive energy campuses, which create communication and coordinated control links among these campuses.  These links could be used to provide local or regional operating support to the power grid.

Once the solar installations are in place, UW Solar will oversee the data collection. Housing and Food Services and UW Facility Services will be responsible for system maintenance while Dr. Miguel Ortega-Vazquez of the Department of Electrical Engineering will lead the research.

“This testbed will help not only to offset the energy requirements at the University of Washington, but it will also enable opportunities to operate the campus in a smart manner, enhancing power quality and grid reliability,” said Ortega-Vazquez. “This is a new paradigm in power system operation, in which the demand-side is taking a more active role in power system management. Furthermore, it will also unlock new opportunities for applied cutting-edge research, as well as opportunities for students to directly interact with onsite renewable energy sources and smart grid technologies.”

This is an extension of the UW’s existing Green Up Program partnership with Seattle City Light, which has provided funding for renewable energy work at UW, allowing the university to develop renewable energy projects, produce educational outreach materials and create opportunities for faculty and student collaboration. The University of Washington is the single largest participant of the Green Up program.

About Green Up
Green Up is Seattle City Light’s voluntary green power program for residential and business customers. By enrolling in Green Up, customers demonstrate their support for wind power and other new renewable energy projects in the Northwest. Seattle City Light purchases Green-E Certified renewable energy credits (RECs) on participants’ behalf.  In addition, Seattle City Light invests in local education and renewable energy projects through direct grants to community non-profits, schools and public institutions.

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.

Mariners Recognize Seattle City Light for Partnership in Energy Efficiency

Seattle City Light and nine other organizations that have helped the Seattle Mariners reduce the environmental impact of Safeco Field operations will be recognized before tonight’s Earth Day game vs. the Houston Astros.

City Light recently provided energy efficiency incentives to help the Mariners replace 579 field and work lights with energy efficient LEDs, which made Safeco Field the first Major League Baseball stadium with all LED lighting for its playing field.

The lighting upgrade will reduce the Mariners’ electricity consumption by about 778,000 kilowatt-hours and save the team about $54,000 per year.

City Light supports energy conservation as its first resource of choice to meet the energy needs of our customers. Helping customers reduce their energy consumption through efficiency upgrades also is more cost-effective than purchasing additional electricity on the energy market or building a new power plant.

City Light is providing about $196,000 in incentives for the project, which is about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour saved.

For tonight’s game, the Mariners used City Light’s Green Up program to purchase 47 kilowatt-hours of electricity from renewable energy resources, including wind farms and dairy gas plants. That’s the expected energy consumption for the entire stadium during the game.

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 about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.