Solar Roof for City Hall Close to Becoming a Reality

March 21, 2015 | by Ross Freeman

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Mock Up of Solar Panels on City Hall Roof

Mock Up of Solar Panels on City Hall Roof | Contributed Image

Throughout the summer of 2014, the City ran a popular residential solar installation program that reached over 500 residents and led to 47 new rooftop arrays across the Island.  But almost 100 people who wanted to install panels as part of the City’s Solarize campaign simply couldn’t, usually due to excessive shade. Now the City is offering yet another way to support clean renewable energy via the City Hall Community Solar Initiative.

“Community Solar” projects are investor-owned, state-licensed installations that provide a way for residents to support solar, even if they have no suitable rooftop location on their own property; several have been completed recently by Seattle City Light, and there are other examples across the state.

For the past few months, potential investors have been signing up to support a portion of the 75-kilowatt City Hall project, and there appears to be sufficient interest to proceed. However, to reach a full-sized installation (273 panels), the City would like to hear from another few individuals.

If it proceeds, the City’s project would be entirely paid for from private funds, and investors in turn receive a solar payment from Washington State, set at $1.08 per kilowatt-hour produced. Since those payments are currently scheduled to end in summer 2020, the earlier we can launch the project, the better!

I invite interested Islanders to contact me for more information or a factsheet about this exciting proposal.

Ross Freeman, City of Mercer Island Sustainability Manager
[email protected]