Consumers, Companies and Climate all Win with the Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the strongest federal legislation on climate change ever passed by Congress, targets a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses (GHG) below 2005 levels by 2030, far greater than previous measures that would have reduced GHGs by 25 percent. Along with the positive impact on climate change, the Act provides a multitude of benefits for consumers and for businesses.

The result could well be a huge increase in solar power. A new report from Princeton University and Dartmouth University forecasts that solar power generation nationally could increase fivefold by 2025-2026, compared to 2020 levels.  While it remains unclear how much money will reach Washington state and how the federal law will mesh with state programs, huge benefits are expected.

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How to Avoid Solar Power Scams

“Federal and Washington solar programs are making it possible to get solar installed on your home at no cost,” one ad proclaims to Washington residents, and “in an effort to reduce demand on the grid, your utility company will now pay you a credit for going solar.”

If you see a deal like this one, it could well be a scam. While solar power is a great investment that can pay for itself in the longer term and federal and state provide support for solar power for some consumers, solar panel installation is usually not free and utility companies are not providing free solar power.

 

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Focus on a Solar Project: Suquamish Tribe Family and Friend's Center

The Suquamish Tribe held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a solar array project on the roof of the Family and Friend's Center (ʔiišədalʔtxʷ ʔə ti suq̓ʷabš). The celebration featured interactive and educational activities designed to engage younger community members on the benefits of solar power, including an overview of career pathways to get a foothold in the clean energy industry.  The solar-powered electricity expected to be  generated every year is equivalent to avoiding 21.2 metric tons of CO2 or 52,711 miles driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle or the electricity to power over 4 homes (*).  
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Focus on a Solar Project: the Arlington Microgrid Project

This July, we focus on the Snohomish County PUD Arlington Microgrid Project.  Watch Suzy Oversvee describe the community solar component of the project.

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Washington State Solar Incentive Program

A proposal for a low-income solar energy program was passed by the Legislature and signed into law on March 30, 2022.  House Bill 1814 funds a revised version of Washington’s exhausted solar energy incentive program. In addition to solar for low-income households and service providers, the new program may also fund community solar subscriptions for low-income recipients. 

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Solar Sourcing and Staffing

With concerns over climate change front and center, and energy prices driving consumer and industry desires to shift to renewable energy, solar power is increasingly attractive. Despite concerns about sourcing and staffing, the prospects for increased solar power installation and usage in Washington is positive.

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