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Phinney Ridge to be site of state’s largest community solar project

Woodland Park Zoo and the Phinney Neighborhood Association are partnering with Seattle City Light to install the state’s largest community solar project. Solar arrays will be installed on top of the PNA’s Blue Building and the zoo’s Rainforest Pavilion.


Conceptual design of solar array on the south side of Woodland Park Zoo’s Rainforest Pavilion.

From today’s announcement:

The Community Solar on Phinney Ridge project is designed for a system of about 74 kilowatts on the roofs of two buildings at the zoo and PNA’s Phinney Center, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project is expected to generate more than 75,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

Currently, the biggest community solar project in Washington is a 74.1 kilowatt system at Poulsbo Middle School that produces about 72,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

Anyone with a City Light account can purchase part of the array’s output for $150 per unit. The cost can be added to a participant’s electric bill and paid in two installments. Customers can buy up to 125 units. Participants receive credit for their units’ production on their City Light bills through June 30, 2020, along with all state renewable energy production incentives.

Units will go on sale soon. Interested people can learn more and sign up to be alerted when sales begin at www.seattle.gov/communitysolar .

Current Washington state production incentives and bill credits for the energy produced add up to $1.16 per kilowatt-hour of electricity. Each unit of the array is expected to be 28 watts, which would generate about $34 worth of electricity annually.

This is the third Community Solar project installed by Seattle City Light. The first is located at Jefferson Park in Beacon Hill. The second project at The Seattle Aquarium sold out in just six weeks.