The solar industry in Washington has grown tremendously over the past several years thanks, in part, to various incentives to go solar made possible by the federal government and the state of Washington. Increased competition at home, throughout North America and the world in manufacturing, distribution, installation and other products and services have lowered the costs of solar adoption as well. Finally, jurisdictions have made efforts to lower the barriers to adoption and utilities have implemented programs to make solar adoption much easier.
- Washington Solar Energy Industries Association (WASEIA, formerly Solar Installers of Washington)
- American Solar Energy Society
- Solar Energy Industries Association
Economic impact in Washington
Solar Installers of Washington (now known as WASEIA) commissioned a survey in 2016 which illustrates the economic impact that solar brings to Washington State. Click to read the report. (PDF file)
Manufacturers in Washington
The solar industry has grown tremendously in Washington over the past decade. Washington State is home to many companies that manufacture solar-related products and have a strong presence in our state. Below is a list of such companies serving as a resource for you and industry representatives as well as showcasing a robust solar industry in our state.
Alpha Technologies (Bellingham) – Components for utility scale solar
Battery Power Systems (BPS) (Pacific) – Specializing in standby power systems for telecom, broadband, utility, oil & gas, enterprise, and industrial applications.
Samson/Blue Frog Solar (Poulsbo) – Micro inverters for Solar PV
HydroBee (Seattle) – Portable solar panels and more
Magnum Energy (a division of Sensata) (Everett) – Inverters and charge controllers for battery based systems, specializing in marine & RV applications
MidNite Solar (Arlington)– Manufacturer of AC and DC disconnect boxes for the alternative energy industry
Northwest Solar Rover (Seattle) –Portable off-grid solar power for outdoor events or festivals
Power Climber Wind (Seattle) – Builders of equipment to access wind turbines for maintenance
REC Silicon (Moses Lake) - producers of polysilicon for the photovoltaic industry
Outback Power (a division of Alpha Technologies) (Arlington) – Power conversion inverters for grid-tied and off-gird uses
Silfab Solar (Bellingham) – Solar modules (panels); Silfab is now manufacturing solar modules (panels) in the former Itek Energy facility in Bellingham and is significantly expanding solar panel manufacturing there.
Silk Road Solar (Kennewick) – Solar hot water heaters
SunModo (Vancouver) – Roof and ground mount solar racking systems
Uniready Technologies (Mukilteo) – Vanadium flow battery for energy storage
Research & Development
Washington State is home to several research institutions that are poised to make major advancements in the fields of renewable energy. They are investigating new techniques and substances for generating clean electricity, new software to build the smart grid of the future that can reduce the demand for electricity, and design and test powerful storage systems to store the power generated by clean energy. Agencies are also researching how to bring new innovations and materials to market including manufacturing.
Clean Energy Institute at University of WA – Championed by Governor Jay Inslee and launched with funding from the State Legislature in 2012, the Clean Energy Institute’s mission is” to accelerate the adoption of a clean energy future by advancing next generation solar energy and electrical energy storage materials, devices and systems, as well as their integration with the grid.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA is dedicated to accelerating both electric and gas energy efficiency, leveraging its regional partnerships to advance the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) is a business association of the energy efficiency industry. NEEC’s mission is to promote policies and programs that enhance market opportunities for energy efficiency. Northwest Energy Efficiency Council conducts research into strengthening the use of energy efficiency to reduce the amount of electricity needed by homes and large buildings. In June 2016, NEEC published a report on the economic benefits of energy efficiency investments in the State of Washington.
Based in Olympia, the Washington State University Energy Program keeps statistics and tracks renewable energy systems installed in WA and evaluates proposed policy and legislation for state government as well as operating an Energy Library and answering questions for the public. The Energy Program works in the fields of Building Efficiency, Industrial and Agricultural Energy and Renewable Energy. Every energy code amendment is evaluated by this WSU Program office. They also offer resources to help public facilities like schools, government offices, police and fire departments increase efficiency and reduce energy costs.
The Washington State Department of Commerce manages the Clean Energy Fund which provides grants to research projects as well as funding for energy improvements in public facilities. The Clean Energy Fund has sponsored research into grid-scale battery storage, grid modernization, and will soon fund research on manufacturing.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is federally funded program approaches research with a technology-neutral approach, meaning a search for the technology that provides the greatest benefit with the least impact to the environment.