Snohomish County PUD’s Planet Power program recently awarded five local organizations funds for the construction of solar energy projects. Planet Power has focused on supporting organizations that provide community services and/or renewable energy education. The program was funded through voluntary contributions from PUD customers.
In this final round of grants, Planet Power awarded $260,000 to build five photovoltaic (PV) systems with more than 112 kilowatts of installed capacity.
The five organizations receiving Planet Power grant funds are the YMCA of Snohomish County, Snohomish County Fire District No. 22, Camp Killoqua-Camp Fire of Snohomish County, Farmer Frog, and Eagle Creek Elementary.
The projects will help each organization offset part of its energy usage and create renewable energy educational and training opportunities. For example:
- The fire station’s installation will be useful in the planned development of county-wide training for other firefighters on response tactics for rooftop solar systems.
- Farmer Frog, a non-profit farm near Maltby, will continue to partner with students from local colleges and universities to work on engineering-related school projects.
- Arlington’s Eagle Creek Elementary plans to host an annual solar workshop for members of the community.
Applications were evaluated on several criteria, including organizational eligibility, technical feasibility, site visibility and cost-effectiveness, along with outreach and educational value.
According to initial bids, Everett’s Blossom Solar will install one of the systems, Seattle’s NW Wind & Solar will install two systems, and Solterra will install another. The system to be installed on the Snohomish County Fire District No. 22 fire station is currently going through a mandatory bid process.
Planet Power collections ended at the end of 2018 in preparation for the PUD’s Community Solar program, designed to further enhance solar access to PUD customers. The final five Planet Power projects bring the total raised by the program to nearly $1.9 million. In all, 39 solar demonstration projects have been installed at schools, non-profits and public agencies across Snohomish County, resulting in 329 kilowatts of solar power.