Clean Power olympia solar panels farmers market

Published on December 15th, 2011 | by Lauren Craig


Community Solar in Olympia, Washington Moves Forward

December 15th, 2011 by  

Community Solar Olympia Farmers Market

The city of Olympia, Washington has approved five new community solar projects, which will be installed at the new Hands-On Children’s Museum; City Hall; the Olympia Community Center; Fire Station #4; and Fir Street Reservoir in 2012.

Community Solar: A Public-Private Partnership

The systems will be deployed through a power purchase agreement with Thurston Solar Management (TSM), a joint venture of Olympia-based PureSolar and Seattle-based Tangerine Power. After previously securing a contract to install a PV system at the Children’s Museum, the group was selected for the additional four projects through a competitive bidding process by the Olympia City Council.

Under the agreement, TSM will install, operate and maintain the equipment for nine years. The city will purchase power generated by the solar arrays at the below-market rate of 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). At the end of the contract term, the city can either renew the lease, require the installation to be removed at the company’s expense, or buy the system at its depreciated value.

Washington’s In-State Production Incentives

The projects are made possible by Washington’s unique (some might say “curious”) renewable energy production incentive, which has been in place since 2005. The program is funded through a tax break to utility companies, and pays a base rate of $.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) through 2020. However, investors in “community solar projects” installed on government property can earn up to $1.08 per kWh if they install modules and inverters manufactured in Washington state.

Participation in the community solar projects will be open to all Washington residents. For more information on how community solar programs work, see our previous post about Solar Mosaic.

Currently, Silicon Energy (Marysville) and itek energy (Bellingham) are the only in-state solar equipment manufacturers.

Benefits to Communities

According to TSM Managing Member, Rich Phillips, the five projects will generate nearly $25 million in revenue for WA state manufacturers and installers, and will save the City of Olympia over $1.3 million in avoided utility costs over the next 25 years. “We’re pretty excited about the benefits to the city, but are just as excited about the other assets to the community as a whole,” Phillips said in a statement. “Creating clean, renewable energy on site is an excellent educational tool; a way to reduce our dependence on foreign or dirty fuel; a way to reduce our carbon output and improve our health, and is an endearing legacy to future generations of Olympia residents.”

In addition to these projects, Puget Sound Energy will also make $30,000 available to fund community solar projects in Olympia and Lacey through its voluntary Green Power Program, if it can enroll a total of 1,011 new program participants by the end of this year. According to a news release, the utility only needs to enroll 50 more customers in the program.

Source: The Olympian
Olympia Farmers Market Community Solar picture by Sunset Air 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , ,

About the Author

  • Ralph Perez

    Can we get more specifics on the long term agreement? Sounds like another bankster rip off. Can you post a return on investment breakdown. Haven’t seen a PPA that allows the consumer full value yet.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network