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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

June 13, 2014 at 5:42 PM

How you can get your share of solar energy

Gabi_0606_Jefferson_01

Sketched June 10, 2014

If it were up to Gina Hicks, more rooftops would be covered with solar panels like the picnic shelters at Jefferson Park.

Hicks is one of a few hundred Seattle City Light customers with a stake in Community Solar, a little-known program that allows customers to invest in solar energy without having to install solar panels directly on their homes. It works like this: You buy a share of the power capacity of city-owned solar arrays and get credited for the energy they produce every year.

Hicks likens the program to owning a piece of an electric plant. “I can’t have a solar panel on my condo building,” said Hicks, “but I can own 3 kilowatts of the panels on the roof of the aquarium.”

Shares of the solar systems installed at Jefferson Park in 2012 and at the Seattle Aquarium a year later sold out faster than expected. But there is some good news if you, too, want to help Seattle flip the switch of renewable energy: City Light says enrollment for new Community Solar projects coming to Woodland Park Zoo and Phinney Community Center should start by the end of the month. For more information about the program, go to http://seati.ms/1ncv7lz.

Comments | More in Parks | Topics: Beacon Hill

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