Seattle Aquarium has announced that, in partnership with Seattle City Light, they plan to install the largest solar array to be found at any West Coast aquarium.
The 49 kilowatt project scheduled to complete in the fall, is part of the utility company’s Community Solar and Green Up programs and will cost around $330, 000.
“Partnering with Seattle City Light supports our mission of inspiring conservation of our marine environment, ” Aquarium Conservation Manager Mark Plunkett said. “Adding sustainable energy into our operations allows us to maintain our leadership within the environmental community.”
The majority of the solar panels, covering most of the south side of the Seattle Aquarium’s roof, will produce electricity for City Light customers who have bought solar power through the utility’s Community Solar program. Each 24 watt unit of the solar installation will cost $150, and customers will have the opportunity to buy up to 125 units. Customers who have bought units will receive credit on their City Light bills corresponding to their portions of the solar panels’ output through to 2020 as well as state production incentives. These credits amount to $1.15 per kilowatt-hour and City Light estimates that participants will receive more than $150 worth of electricity and production incentives for each unit purchased by the end of their agreements.
City Light General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco said, “With this project, our customers now have a new opportunity to directly purchase renewable solar electricity even if they can’t install panels at their homes or businesses.”
The remainder of the panels not sold will be used as a demonstration for Seattle City Light’s voluntary Green Up renewable energy program with the electricity produced going to power the Aquarium’s operations.