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Lighting Seattle since 1905 Jorge Carrasco, Superintendent
Global Change
Carkeek Park ELC 950 NW Carkeek Park Road, Seattle

May 2003

ELC Hours
Mon - Sat
10am to 4pm

ELC Info

Electricity Generation
· 3.6 kilowatts peak DC capacity
· 3400 kWh per year - estimated

Solar Equipment
· (36) AstroPower 100 watt mono-crystalline modules (18 each on poles and roof)
· (2) SMA Sunny Boy 1800 watt, 120 VAC inverters
· Cost: $19,747

Project Team
· Seattle City Light
· Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation
· WSU Northwest Solar Center
green power title with bulb logo
If you have questions, contact us at:
or call (206) 684-3800

Solar Project - Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center

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Project Summary
Carkeek Park is Seattle's premier spot to watch spawning salmon. Every fall from mid-October to mid-December, hundreds of Coho and Chum return to creeks that weave through this urban oasis just off NW 110th Street.

Another notable attraction is City Light's solar project, funded by City Light customers' generous contributions to Seattle Green Power. It generates roughly half the electricity for Carkeek's Environmental Learning Center (ELC), lighting on the grounds, and other needs. At times, the utility meter can be seen spinning backwards.

   New Environmental Learning Center
New Environmental Learning Center.

Green power at Carkeek Park
Green power at Carkeek Park.

   City Naturalist Steve Gay explains the park's goal is to replicate natural processes of the surrounding forest. For example, plants contain molecules that convert photons to energy very efficiently, just like solar cells.

"Our facilities are a cookie cutter of how nature works," he says.

Carkeek boasts many other energy-efficient and sustainability features including a highly-insulated building envelope, intelligent lighting, and natural ventilation; rooftop rainwater harvest for flushing toilets and managing storm water; and salmon-friendly landscaping - drought-tolerant, native species and increased storm water infiltration.

The ELC serves as a model for resource efficiency and sustainable building, and has earned a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Gold rating, the first in Seattle. The Center provides space for environmental education activities and community gatherings.

For more information about Carkeek Park, visit their web site:

   Parks Project Manager Dan Johnson and Architect Geordie Selkirk with solar inverters
Parks Project Manager Dan Johnson and Architect Geordie Selkirk with solar inverters.

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The Seattle City Light Web Team:

Seattle City Light -- 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, Seattle, WA 98104-5031 -- 206.684.3000

Mailing address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, P.O. Box 34023 Seattle, WA 98124-4023