The Many Community Benefits of Solarize KirklandApril 25, 2017
After two years of workshops, site assessments, and installations, the Solarize Kirkland program has brought hundreds of affordable kW of new, clean power to the community of Kirkland, WA.
All told, the program has resulted in 64 total contracts, or solar systems installed, which produce about 400 kW of clean power and thousands of kWh of clean energy each year. Not only has the program saved tons of air-and-water-polluting-fossil fuels from being produced, transported, and burned, the program has also saved money for Kirkland residents on their electricity bills.
As two happy Solarize participants, Bob and Kathy Forgrave, noted in a blog for the City of Kirkland: “This is the only remodel that pays you back for decades (even if politicians in Olympia keep futzing with the net metering reimbursement rates) … If everyone in Kirkland alone did this, Puget Sound Energy could decommission both of its coal-burning generators in Montana.”
Over the last two years, Solarize Kirkland also helped generate two solar systems that were donated to deserving community nonprofits. The program’s solar contractor, Northwest Electric & Solar, has donated two solar arrays as a token of gratitude for the support of the community in making the program a success.
Last year, Northwest Electric and Solar donated an array to Friends of Youth to offset the costs of operating the nonprofit’s headquarters building. And this year the contractor is donating a 3.6 kW array to Attain Housing, a local nonprofit that provides housing and support services for homeless families. This array will save the nonprofit over 350 dollars per year in energy costs.
Solarize Kirkland is a successful partnership among PPRC, the City of Kirkland, Northwest Electric & Solar, NW SEED, Puget Sound Energy, and community volunteers. PPRC is looking forward to being part of more collaborative community projects like this one.