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Seattle City Light DEBRA SMITH, General Manager and CEO
Community Solar
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Community Solar on Phinney Ridge enroll now button

Seattle City Light is partnering with Woodland Park Zoo and the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) to install our third community solar project in the summer of 2014. The Community Solar on Phinney Ridge project is planning for a ±74 kilowatt system on roofs at the zoo and the PNA.

As with our previous Community Solar projects, the upfront costs will be paid by Seattle City Light, but ultimately the cost of the project will be paid for by customers who enroll in the program and participate by buying one or more solar units. These customers will be eligible to receive Washington State production incentives and City Light "virtual net metering" payments that currently total $1.16 per kilowatt hour of electricity generated by a community solar project.

Beginning in July of 2020, ownership of the solar systems will transfer to their respective hosts, who will enjoy the benefits of the electricity generated by the solar arrays – lower electric bills! – for the rest of the life of the systems. Customers will be able to choose whether their units benefit PNA or the Woodland Park Zoo or "no preference." If either portion of the project is "filled" first, further enrollments will automatically be designated for the other portion.

Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) Details

  • 13 kW
  • Made–in Washington Itek modules & inverters
  • On the roof of the historic "blue building" located at 6532 Phinney Avenue N in Seattle. This array will be visible to the public from the street, where tens of thousands of people drive, walk and bicycle by every day.
  • Our choice of PNA as a host emphasizes the "community" in Community Solar. PNA is a non–profit neighborhood association that engages and serves the community with a range of programs, services and activities, including sustainable home improvement programs and a tool–lending library.

Woodland Park Zoo Details

  • 61 kW total
  • Made–in Washington Itek modules & inverters
  • Over 1.26 million people a year visit the zoo, including 70,000 students, teachers and chaperones in school groups.
  • Rainforest Pavilion roof will have more than 16 kW of solar on its highly visible south–facing roof. At least half a million people visit the Rainforest Pavilion site annually!
  • There will be more than 44 kW of solar installed on the zoo's Commissary building, which serves as the animals' pantry and kitchen!
  • The system's inverters, which convert the DC electricity from the arrays into AC electricity that can be fed into the grid or used to power the zoo's operations, will be visible to anyone visiting the Rainforest Pavilion, providing a great prop for our educational materials about how solar works.
  • The project is supported by Woodland Park Zoo board and staff, whose conservation and sustainability missions tie in nicely with solar energy. Did you know that solar panels already power the historic Woodland Park Zoo Carousel?

General Project Information:

  • Solar units cost $150; each represents a 28 watt piece of the system
  • Customers can buy from 1 – 125 units
  • Between 2600–2700 units will be for sale
  • Current Washington state production incentives ($1.08/kWh) and bill credits for the energy produced (about 7.5 cents/kWh) add up to $1.16 per kilowatt–hour of electricity.
  • Online enrollment system available
  • Charges are divided into 2 equal payments across 2 bills
  • The project together is expected to generate more than 77,000 kWh of electricity per year. With each unit of the array sized at 28 watts and assuming 1050 kilowatt-hours of electricity produced for each kilowatt in size of the system, each unit could generate about $34 annually in credits
  • There will be a monitoring system similar to what is at Jefferson Park and the Seattle Aquarium that will provide live data and will be available to see online
Units are on sale now. Interested Seattle City Light customers can visit our enrollment page to sign up online or obtain a printable application form.
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    Suite 3200
    P.O. Box 34023
    Seattle, WA 98124-4023

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