Community Post

Free Solar Power System to be Awarded to Local Community Organizations

The Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast Community Coalition is seeking applications from qualified community organizations who would like to have a donated solar photovoltaic system installed at their facility to generate renewable energy for the facility and to use as an educational tool.

The donated solar system serves as a community award for participation in Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast, a project of Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) and Seattle City Light that is designed to accelerate solar energy installations in central and southeast Seattle neighborhoods through a group purchase of solar electric systems at a discounted price.  Participants in the project attend a free public workshop to learn the technical and economic aspects of how solar energy works in Seattle and to qualify for a free site assessment for their home or business.  The Community Coalition is comprised of individual volunteers and local non-profits, such as Sustainable Seattle who is managing the community award selection process.

Through a competitive bidding process, the Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast Community Coalition pre-selected Puget Sound Solar and Artisan Electric as the project’s solar installation team.  As part of the project, these contractors provide solar systems at discounted rates to project participants.  In addition, this contractor team offered to donate a solar electric system to as many as two local community organizations as a reward for the Solarize project reaching pre-determined installation targets.  The first solar electric system will be awarded when 30 project participants have gone solar; the second system will be awarded when 60 participants have gone solar.

Qualifying community organizations must be located in central or southeast Seattle neighborhoods, must own their building or have a minimum 10-year lease, must be open and inclusive in engaging diverse community members, and provide a highly visible site with good access for the public to see and learn about the solar energy system.

“This is a very visible way for the homeowners to give something back to the central/southeast community when they install solar,” said Evan Leonard, Vice President of Artisan Electric. “Our goal is to increase solar awareness and build community, so donating systems based on project benchmarks made a lot of sense.”

The donated solar electric system will be rated at 3 kilowatts (kW) and will include all equipment and labor required for a rooftop installation, in addition to 10 years of maintenance service (the system itself has a life expectancy of at least 25 years).  The award of a 3 kW solar installation is approximately a $15,000 value for the installation and an additional value of up to $750 per year in electricity savings and Washington State production incentive payments.

The Request for Applications can be found at  The deadline for submitting an application is August 15, 2013.

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