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.