From Puget Sound Energy Press Release
BELLEVUE, Wash. (June 24, 2015) – Even with a reputation of gray skies in western Washington, solar energy works. More and more Puget Sound Energy electric customers are turning to solar arrays to help generate clean, renewable energy at their homes, businesses and public buildings. As of this week, that number hit 3,000.
“Solar equipment has become increasingly affordable, and that’s a main reason we’re seeing a greater number of customers determining now’s a good time to make the investment,” said Jake Wade, manager of PSE’s solar program. “And the benefits can be seen immediately.” In PSE’s service area, residential customers make up roughly 90% of those with solar arrays; the remaining 10% are commercial properties and municipal locations, such as a library or a city building.
Solar arrays have been producing power daily in the PSE service area since 2000.
- PSE now adds five or more new solar systems to the power grid every day.
- Solar is increasing in all eight of PSE’s electric service counties, with Kittitas, Whatcom and Island counties adding the most per capita.
- King County just topped 1000 solar arrays; Island County has just over 200; and Kittitas recently topped 100.
- Altogether, PSE’s solar customers have installed nearly 20 megawatts of solar modules, which is enough to cover 26 football fields. The electricity output meets the annual power needs of roughly 1,600 homes.
Customers with solar arrays are a part PSE’s net metering program, which can help cut their energy costs. A portion of the electricity generated by the photovoltaic (PV) modules can be fed back into PSE’s power grid, creating credits for the customer. Another incentive is a state production payment program, which is administered by PSE. The incentive runs through 2020, and PSE estimates paying more than $5 million to solar customers this summer.
Since 2007, PSE has also provided funding to 14 communities installing solar array projects as part of our Green Power Challenges, with Bainbridge Island unveiling its new 5 kilowatt array in April. PSE has awarded more than $360,000 for solar demonstration projects in those cities.
This year’s challenge is under way in Bellevue, working in conjunction with the city’s “Solarize Bellevue” campaign. Between now and the end of October, the city is targeting a mark of 3,250 Green Power customers. To get there, at least 250 net new customers will need to sign up.
Get more information here on PSE’s Green Power programs.