Coal Sucks, and Oil Burns. No sense waiting for Kyoto and Copenhagen, we’ve got to do this ourselves. Thanks to the Go Solar Seattle NW Campaign for doing the leg-work and research to make ‘going solar’ easy!
With Mt. Rainier to the south and the entrance to the new 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living to the north, one cannot help but be awed by the roof-to-roof coverage of the 25.6kW solar energy system! 21 Acres is a non-profit organization committed to supporting sustainable, local food systems through its school, commercial kitchen and farm market with an eye on changing the conventional food system landscape.
Our project of the month comes from Seattle, Wa; a 6.4kW SolarWorld system. Mark Dexter of Seattle couldn’t be happier about the production of his new SolarWorld system as it is producing more than half of his home’s energy consumption.
North Pacific Mini Storage of Bainbridge Island goes solar with a 9.6kW Itek Energy system. The owner of North Pacific Mini Storage is ecstatic about the new addition to his business and can’t wait to see what the summer will produce.
Roshelle’s middle school science teacher, Mr Clark, will be glad to know that a demonstration on solar energy made quite an impression on her. This self described “tree hugger” first became fascinated by solar energy in the 7th grade, and now Roshelle has her own solar power station!
In August 2012 the City of Bainbridge Island will shine as the 71.28 kW Community Solar Project on the City Hall roof goes live. The idea of Community Solar was first germinated at City Hall during a community gathering there in 2005. It took several years and the tenacious leadership of Senator Phil Rockefeller in Olympia to turn it from good idea, to Washington State law. Following the unanimous approval from the Bainbridge Island City Council, the City selected Community Energy Solutions (CES) to make the Bainbridge City Hall Community Solar Project a reality.
Environmental concerns topped the list for Town & Country Market when they first looked at solar. After attending a solar workshop and working with Greg Williams, one of the employee-owners of Sunergy Systems, the T&C owners felt that solar was part of the answer to their mounting electric bills. As responsible grocers, the owners of Town & Country Market made the decision to purchase a 120-panel photovoltaic system to offset some of their electrical usage and make a positive environmental statement.
A truly cooperative enterprise between Sustainable Edmonds, City of Edmonds, Tangerine Power, Sunergy Systems. The co-op model was chosen for this community solar project to benefit people whose roofs face the wrong way, live in the forest, or apartments, condos, don’t have the money for an entire system, or simply don’t want solar on their home.
Community Solar legislation, passed in 2009, made it possible for renters, condo owners, forest dwellers and thousand Aires to share in the triple bottom line of solar energy use. We can: reduce our carbon footprint (good for our planet), provide discounted power to the cities and schools (good for our community), and receive federal, state and utility incentives (good for our wallet). Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative is a 100% locally owned enterprise set up to make more clean energy under Washington’s Community Solar program.
The Kahles decided to go with a 5.5kW Silicon Energy System. They’ve have been following the solar market for several years and recently bought an electric vehicle. For Paul and Vanessa, the timing just seemed perfect to go solar now. As Paul proudly says, “I’m putting as many watts on my roof as it will hold. It’s green, it’s cool and the price is right”. They couldn’t be happier with their decision to Go Solar.
Patti Kashiwa is a local resident to Northwest Seattle. The idea of solar was in the future. The Kashiwa residence joined 52 families who went solar as a part of the Go Solar Seattle Northwest program. “I had been thinking about putting solar panels up for some time but I was not sure how to make the installation. When I received a flyer from Go Solar Northwest I thought that this was my opportunity. The community seminars were great, they sharpened my interest and provided a lot of information.”
Al & Meg from Mercer Island placed one of the first orders for a Nissan LEAF. Wanting to make sure the all-electric vehicle was powered by truly greenenergy, they went solar at the same time. Their 16 ITEK 240 module (3.8kW) system is to produce over 3500kWhs its first year and over 100,000 over its 30-year or more life-span. Their LEAF averages around 3.6 miles per kilowatt hour. That’s over 12,000 miles per year powered from the modules on their roof!
When Mac Taylor decided to go solar, it was from a place of environmental stewardship and smart finances. As a pastor, Mac has committed his life to caring for the world and its people. The positive effects solar has on climate change aligned with his life’s work of providing a clean and positive future for his grandkids and future great grandkids, as well as alleviating the suffering of the poor who often live in areas most affected by pollution. Solar made financial sense for his home. Since the initial cost of installation would eventually pay for itself while adding value to his home, it was a win-win for his family.
Greg Freitag became one of Sunergy Systems’s 600 customers when he decided to go solar back in March 2013. He was among the many Pacific Northwesterners that were skeptical about solar’s capability in our little corner of the world. However, Greg was prompted to explore solar by his son who lives in sunny California.
A local family chooses to go solar for three households. Judy Willingham recognizes the importance of reducing her carbon footprint by going solar and she has passed that idea on to her son Dodd. Dodd and his wife Joana also had solar installed at their own home and at their rental property too.
Since he was a child, Scott has been excited about solar energy. As an adult, he followed its evolution, did extensive research, and 25 years later, Scott & Bev went solar!
They were smart in their approach, first, researching which panels would work best for their home. Second, they studied the success of Germany’s solar implementation and the similarities the Pacific Northwest shares in regards to solar access and climate. Bev & Scott concluded that everyone could benefit from solar, saying, “If a large percentage of people could do solar, and have a continuous feed back into the grid, it would be a huge boon to everybody.” They enjoyed the idea of energy independence, giving clean energy back to their community and helping the environment by powering their home sustainably.
This month the Haziq family is our Project of the Month. The Haziq family from Bonney Lake made the choice to go solar recently as a way of doing their part to help combat climate change. Mustafa Haziq is uncertain of the scope of the impact humans are making on our climate. But what was certain was his family’s desire to become sustainable, reduce their carbon footprint and help future generations.
The Valley View Sewer District and Water District #125 were a bit before their time when they installed a six-panel 1kW solar pv system way back in 2006. Their environmentally conscious decisions continued in 2013 with the purchase of two systems to offset the electric bills of Valley View Sewer District and the Water Sewer District Condo Association created to manage their joint administration building built in 2006. Both the Water and Sewer district serve customers in the City of Tukwila and surrounding area.