Phinney Ridge Community Solar Project
City Light customers liked our Community Solar project at the Seattle Aquarium so much that all of the units sold out in 6 weeks. If you missed out (or want more), you can participate in our newest Community Solar project - an alliance between Seattle City Light and Phinney Ridge institutions the Woodland Park Zoo
and the Phinney Neighborhood Association
. You can go directly to the online enrollment form
or visit our Phinney Ridge Project
and Community Solar FAQs
pages for all the details.
How Does the Program Work?
Seattle City Light pays to build and maintain a large solar array in a location optimally situated for solar exposure and chosen for its community appeal. The array generates electricity to the Seattle City Light electric grid, which further diversifies our clean energy power sources. Anyone with a Seattle City Light electric account can sign up to purchase solar units consisting of a share of the total output of the Community Solar array.
Each year through 2020, the utility credits participating Community Solar customer for a portion of the power produced by the Community Solar array. Plus, participants receive a Washington State Production Incentive specifically designed for Community Solar customers, which is double the production incentive paid to individual customers who generate solar electricity on their homes. These payments, which are based on the customer's participation level, should allow Community Solar customers to recoup all or close to all of their Community Solar participation investment within a number of years.
City Light's Community Solar Projects
In 2012, Seattle City Light completed its first Community Solar project at Jefferson Park in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Participating customers helped build three new picnic shelters with roofs made of solar electric panels. The site now generates approximately 26,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity each year, while supplying park visitors with much needed shelters.
Live data from Jefferson Park
Community Solar at the Seattle Aquarium opened for enrollment in September of 2013 and sold out the 1850 available units in 6 short weeks. This 44.4 kW system is ideal for its historic waterfront location that hosts more than 800,000 visitors a year (including 40,000 school children), a large south-facing unshaded roof, and its significant contribution to the Aquarium's conservation and sustainability mission.
Live Data from the Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Community Solar Story
Seattle's Community Solar roots go back to 2008, when the U.S. Department of Energy awarded a grant to Seattle as one of 25 Solar America Cities. Despite a seemingly less-than-ideal climate for solar power, the department recognized Seattle's solar potential, forward thinking and initiative for solar energy development. Project efforts confirmed that the greatest barrier to widespread solar energy use in Seattle isn't our climate - it's awareness, planning, infrastructure, and economics. Seattle City Light is working to overcome each of those hurdles, and Community Solar is a major step in that plan.
In 2009, the WA State legislature created new renewable energy production incentives for Community Solar which doubled existing incentive rates.
Seattle was awarded a second grant from the Department of Energy Solar America Cities Program in 2010. This special project award was specifically for the development and launch of a Seattle City Light community solar program.
We thank our City Light customers for continued support of our community and environment and for proving that solar does work in Seattle!
We're Here to Help
You can also learn about Community Solar by talking with a Seattle City Light Energy Advisor. Email us at: SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov
or Phone: 206-684-3800 (translation services available).
Seattle City Light
Attn: Community Solar Program Manager
PO Box 34023
Seattle, WA 98124-4023