Seattle City Light just announced its latest community solar project — a 26 kilowatt system on the roof of the Holiday Apartments, an affordable housing building owned by Capitol Hill Housing (CHH). CHH provides low-income housing to over 1700 Seattle residents and actively works to create equitable and sustainable communities in central Seattle. CHH also leads the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, a neighborhood initiative that works to address Capitol Hill’s most pressing sustainability challenges.
Community Solar lets renters, condo owners or those who don’t want to buy a whole system get the benefits of a solar array built by City Light and shared by the community. Locations are chosen for solar exposure and connection to the greater community. The host must have an obvious commitment to and connection with conservation. Customers purchase virtual pieces of the system – solar units – for $150 each. State incentives and City Light energy credits pay back that contribution and should even pay out something extra. When the project ends, City Light donates the system to the host – providing free, clean, electricity to offset their operating costs and further their conservation mission.
- “This is the democratization of solar power,” says Joel Sisolak, EcoDistrict Project Director for CHH. You don’t have to own a solar system, much less a house. Anyone with a City Light account can sign up.
- Annual credits pay you back by 2020.
- Your purchase of solar unit(s) supports Capitol Hill Housing by keeping their operating costs down.
- Adding solar to the grid further diversifies City Light’s clean energy power sources, freeing up more green, hydropowered electricity to be sold to utilities that burn fossil fuels for their power.
- Enhance City Light’s efforts to educate customers that “solar works in Seattle.”
- A successful community solar project at the Holiday Apartments will lead to future community solar efforts directed towards Capitol Hill’s many renters that can be led by CHH itself.
Go to seattle.gov/communitysolar for more details, or if you have questions about the project, please call or email a Seattle City Light Energy Advisor at 206-684-3800 or SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov.