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.

Community encouraged to participate in review of design for the Seattle Sensory Garden at Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to review the schematic design and provide feedback for the new Seattle Sensory Garden at Woodland Park Zoo. The public meeting for this project is Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Avenue N. in the Red Room.

At the meeting, Seattle Parks and Recreation project manager and the design team of Fischer Bouma Partnership and Richard Hartlage of Land Morphology will provide project information and present the schematic design.  The design incorporates feedback heard from the community at the first public meeting in September.

 The goal of the project is to develop a garden for the senses by adding sight, touch, smell, and sound elements to increase accessibility and provide a welcoming atmosphere and experience for all.  The Sensory Garden is an expansion of Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden.

This community-initiated project is funded by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund.  Seattle Parks and Recreation has been coordinating with Woodland Park Zoo, the Lions Club, Hearing Speech & Deafness Center, Lighthouse for the Blind, ARC of King County, and the Phinney Neighborhood Association.

For more information about this project and to review information from the first meeting,  please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/sensory_garden/  or contact Jay Rood, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 206-733-9194 or jay.rood.seattle.gov.

 

 

Community invited to participate in design of the Seattle Sensory Garden at Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle Parks and Recreation and Woodland Park Zoo invite the community to participate in the planning for a new Seattle Sensory Garden at the zoo. The first public meeting for this project is Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 from 7 -8:30 p.m. at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave N. in the Red Room.

At the meeting, Seattle Parks and Recreation’s project manager and the design team of Fischer Bouma Partnership, Richard Hartlage of Land Morphology and Mark Epstein of Hafs Epstein, will provide project information and gather community input for the design of this unique garden.

The goal of the project is to develop a garden for the senses by adding sight, touch, smell and sound elements to increase accessibility and provide a welcoming atmosphere and experience for all. The Sensory Garden is an expansion of the Rose Garden at Woodland Park Zoo.

This community-initiated project is funded by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund. Seattle Parks and Recreation has been coordinating with Woodland Park Zoo, the Lions Club, Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center, Lighthouse for the Blind, ARC of King County and the Phinney Neighborhood Association.

For more information about this project please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/sensory_garden/  or contact Jay Rood, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 733-9194 or jay.rood.seattle.gov.

Seattle City Light Introduces MobE to Teach People About Solar Energy

Mayor Ed Murray introduces MobE at Pacific Science Center.

Mayor Ed Murray helped Seattle City Light unveil a first-of-its kind interactive kiosk today that will use the power of the Sun to teach people about solar and other forms of renewable energy.

“Seattle is a hub of innovation and our community is deeply committed to protecting the environment,” Murray said. “MobE brings those two interests together to help educate people about how solar energy can work in Seattle. This is another example of the environmental leadership demonstrated by Seattle City Light, which is one of the reasons it is the nation’s greenest utility.”

The kiosk, called “MobE” for mobilizing energy, features an interactive touch-screen user interface, relaying information about renewable energy and energy conservation, such as solar energy generation data from Seattle City Light’s four Community Solar projects. It also provides a public address system and a projector for presentations. MobE runs on batteries that are charged by portable photovoltaic solar panels.

City Light’s Jack Newman shows MobE to students from the John Stanford International School.

“Our customers consistently tell us they want more solar electricity,” Seattle City Light General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco said. “We are creating that opportunity while maintaining some of the lowest electric rates in the nation. MobE is going to help us share that message.”

City Light plans to use MobE to teach people, especially school children, about solar energy and energy conservation as part of a clean, renewable energy future that reduces our community’s carbon footprint and helps to avoid further impacts of climate change. Partnerships are already in place for outreach and education programs, including the Youth Climate Action Network, which is itself a partnership among Woodland Park Zoo, Pacific Science Center and the Seattle Aquarium.

“Seattle City Light is one of our valued collaborators,” said Cory Sbarbaro, Interim President and CEO of Pacific Science Center. “We are delighted to deepen our partnership through innovative projects, such as Sonic Bloom and MobE, that help us educate and engage the community on the science of sustainability and renewable energy.”

The MobE kiosk project was conceived by Jack Newman in City Light’s Conservation Resources Division and funded by the utility’s Green Up program. Green Up allows customers to invest in additional green energy from regional renewable energy generation sites by adding a small amount of money to their bill. Green Up also funds local solar energy demonstration projects as well as outreach and education for renewable energy.

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.

 

State’s Biggest Community Solar Project Coming to Phinney Ridge

The most visible panels of City Light’s third Community Solar project will be installed at Woodland Park Zoo’s Rainforest Pavillion.

Seattle City Light is partnering with Woodland Park Zoo and the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) to install the state’s largest community solar project.

“Customers continue to tell us they want solar electricity and we are creating that opportunity,” General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco said. “This project will allow hundreds of people to buy solar power even if they can’t install panels at their own homes or businesses.”

An artist’s rendering of what the panels at the zoo’s Rainforest Pavilion will look like.

The Community Solar on Phinney Ridge project is designed for a system of about 74 kilowatts on the roofs of two buildings at the zoo and PNA’s Phinney Center, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is expected to produce more than 75,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

Currently, the biggest community solar project in Washington is a 74.1 kilowatt system at Poulsbo Middle School that produces about 72,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

“As stewards for thousands of individual animals and plants, as well as caretakers of a historic built environment, Woodland Park Zoo continues to strive to be the community’s most exciting, living showcase of sustainability through leading by example,” zoo Chief Operations Officer Bruce Bohmke said. “This project offers another way for us to engage our community.”

Other panels will be installed at the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s historic Phinney Center.

Anyone with a City Light account can purchase part of the array’s output for $150 per unit. The cost can be added to a participant’s electric bill and paid in two installments. Customers can buy up to 125 units. Participants receive credit for their units’ production on their City Light bills through June 30, 2020, along with all state renewable energy production incentives.

Units will go on sale soon. Interested people can learn more and sign up to be alerted when sales begin at www.seattle.gov/communitysolar .

Current Washington state production incentives and bill credits for the energy produced add up to $1.16 per kilowatt-hour of electricity. Each unit of the array is expected to be 28 watts, which would generate about $34 worth of electricity annually.

“The PNA was a partner in the very successful Solarize Seattle: Northwest program last spring, and many area residents asked about community solar,” neighborhood association Executive Director Lee Harper said. “We are thrilled to be able to follow through for those people who can’t put solar on their own house by helping us put it on our building. It will be great to power our community events with clean community solar power. It certainly is in keeping with our mission to engage and serve our community.”

This is the third Community Solar project installed by Seattle City Light. The first is located at Jefferson Park in Beacon Hill. The second project at The Seattle Aquarium sold out in just six weeks.

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.