State’s first community solar system goes live at Shoreline school

  • SCBJ staff
  • Wednesday, August 25, 2010 3:14pm

Silicon Energy of Marysville is helping to pave the way for the state’s newest photovoltaic incentive program, Community Solar, with the installation of the state’s first community solar project at Einstein Middle School in Shoreline.

This progressive incentive program was created by Washington’s Legislature to increase the number of photovoltaic systems in Washington and create local jobs by encouraging investors to fund the installation of PV systems on local community buildings.

The Einstein Middle School project is the flagship installation for Community Solar and will reap higher rewards because of the Washington-made Silicon Energy Cascade Solar Modules.

“We are excited that our science students at Einstein Middle School will have the opportunity to utilize this renewable energy technology, and at the same time, our district will experience savings in energy costs,” said Shoreline School District Superintendent Sue Walker. The 5-kilowatt system will produce a revenue stream of nearly $3,000 a year for the school district.

An investor in a Community Solar PV system can make up to $1.08 per kilowatt-hour using Washington-made PV modules and inverters. A homeowner using a PV system is limited to 54 cents per kilowatt-hour using Washington-made modules and inverters.

With investors being eligible for the federal government’s 30 percent tax credit on the purchase of the systems, the investment in Community Solar offers a quick return on investment. Silicon Energy officials tout their Cascade PV module as one of the world’s most durable solar modules, producing clean energy for years to come.

“With the state’s solar incentive program, systems with both modules and inverters made here at home (Washington state) can receive the full benefit. We want our customers to maximize their solar investment,” said Gary Shaver, president of Silicon Energy LLC.

Silicon Energy helps customers maximize on their investment with the only PV module manufactured in the state, a locally assembled inverter system, and a network of recognized licensed installers.

The collaboration between the National Education Energy Development Project (NEED), Galaxy Electric, the Wal-Mart Foundation and Silicon Energy will continue with the installation of three more community solar PV systems on schools in the Seattle area.

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