If you are not able to install solar panels on your roof but you want to support alternative energy and reduce your carbon footprint, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and Olympia High School (OHS) partnered to the option to subscribe to solar energy shares.
The Olympia High School Community Solar site was the first to open under Puget Sound Energy’s new voluntary renewable energy program. Photo courtesy: Puget Sound Energy
“The Community Solar Program was designed to make solar more accessible for customers,” says Leslie Myers, PSE product manager for renewables. “Olympia High School was the first of several projects. The program is designed in a way to increase access and remove barriers.” At the same time, the program helps those students learn about clean energy.
PSE Community Solar Shares at OHS Reduce Customers’ Carbon Footprints
Olympia School District agreed to host a solar array which PSE installed on the OHS roof. Myers says this green power project enables solar energy to be captured by the panels and added to the power grid. Through the Community Solar program, PSE electric customers can voluntarily subscribe to available “shares” of the project at $20 per month, replacing some or all of their regular electricity use with renewable energy. The energy generated by the shares is represented as energy credits on the customers’ monthly electric bills, offsetting a portion of their subscription cost.
Representatives from Puget Sound Energy and the Olympia School District cut the ribbon on the completed Olympia High School Solar site in November 2021. Photo courtesy: Puget Sound Energy
“Community Solar is a flexible and convenient way for our electric customers to share the benefits of solar power without having to install solar panels,” says Myers. “Customers can subscribe to a local site of their choice and get a report yearly on their participation and the impact of their shares.”
OHS share subscriptions launched last year for its 532 solar panels providing 200 kilowatts of AC power (kWac). The OHS project is so successful that its approximately 135 shares were fully subscribed – sold out – in hours. “Based on that, we see that customers want this,” Myers says. “It tells us there is a demand out there.”
As a result, PSE created wait lists for subscriptions at Olympia and other Community Solar sites in Ellensburg and Issaquah. Customers looking to subscribe to the next available site can join an interest list for PSE’s newest site in Bonney Lake where construction is underway. Myers says PSE has also issued a Request for Information (RFI) for other potential sites.
The Kittitas Community Solar site in Ellensburg featuring more than 13,000 solar panels was completed in March 2022, following the Olympia High School’s popular subscription program at its site. Photo courtesy: Puget Sound Energy
The share subscription process is on the PSE website, which also explains the no-cost income-eligible single …….