Passage of The Solar Jobs Bill: A Win for Washington

By Joan Schrammeck, Solar Washington Board Member

Signed by the Governor on July 7, 2017, SB 5939 moves clean renewable solar electricity forward in our state now through 2029. The bill was backed by a strong broad coalition led by Solar Installers of Washington (SIW) that included manufacturers, suppliers, utilities, environmentalists, clean tech industry leaders, Democrats, Republicans and would not have passed without the ten thousand citizens who repeatedly contacted their legislators to urge its passage.

The purposes of the new program are outlined in the bill. These are in plain English and easy to understand, so I’ll let you read them online or on paper. The importance of the purposes is they give the legislature a way to evaluate whether or not the program is working to meet its goals.

 

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Solar Foundation Releases Solar Industry Diversity Study

Washington, D.C. -- New research released by The Solar Foundation in partnership with the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Women’s Empowerment Committee reveals that the 260,000-worker-strong U.S. solar energy workforce is more diverse than similar American industries, but still needs to make progress in order to ensure fairness and equality for its employees. The 2017 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study provides statistically significant evidence for what has long been casually observed, proving that women and people of color face significant hurdles to accessing the equal pay and senior positions of their white male counterparts, with women of color being affected the most.

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Solar WA President Gives TED X Talk on Using Solar to Power Microgrids in Alaska

TED_X.jpgSolar Washington President David Nicol recently gave a TED X talk on the campus of WWU in Bellingham to talk about his experience working on solar microgrid projects in Alaska. Nicol describes the high financial and environmental cost of powering Alaska's cities and villages including the prevalence of diesel fuel to do so. The development of microgrids in Alaska and worldwide through the use of renewables including solar can bring electricity to billions more currently without access to clean and reliable power. Click on the image below to view his presentation. 

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Tri-Cities Climate Change & Solar Energy Forum includes presentation by Solar Washington Board Member

A forum addressing climate change, energy conservation and related topics was hosted by the WSU Tri-Cities Environmental Club earlier this week. Eugene Wilkie, owner of Now! Solar and a Solar Washington Board Member spoke with residents concerning how to go solar and conserve energy use.

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Solar Foundation Publishes Research on Solar Training and Hiring

Two-thirds of solar installation firms report that "difficulty finding qualified applicants" is increasing costs and impacting their ability to expand, according to a new research report released this week by the Solar Training Network, a program led by The Solar Foundation. 

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Snohomish PUD installs second energy storage system

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Snohomish County PUD dedicated its second energy storage system in March 2017, recently installed at a substation in Everett, Wash. The system is the world’s largest containerized vanadium flow battery system by capacity. The batteries and control systems are housed in 20 shipping containers, each 20 feet in length, packed with tanks of a liquid electrolyte solution.

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SnoPUD's Solar Express Sunsetting

solarexpresslogoweb.jpgThe Solar Express program, operated by Snohomish County PUD, is sunsetting. Projects must be submitted by June 30, 2017 in order to be considered for a cash incentive. Through SnoPUD's Solar Express Program the PUD offers cash incentives for qualifying solar customers. Solar Express incentives are $300 per kW (up to $2,000 per residential system and $8,000 per commercial system). 

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