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Take part in Washington’s largest Community Solar project

Posted by: Kerston Swartz, Public Affairs

Woodland Park Zoo, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) and Seattle City Light are partnering on Community Solar on Phinney Ridge, a new community solar project going live summer 2014. The project will produce approximately 75 kilowatts of energy from solar panels installed on building roofs at the zoo and PNA, making it the largest community solar project in Washington state.

The Rain Forest Food Pavilion will soon be decked out with solar panels. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Enrollment has just begun for City Light customers to participate in Community Solar on Phinney Ridge. You can purchase energy from the solar-modules, and then receive annual credits for the amount of energy generated by your units. Customer investment will end in July 2020 when ownership of the solar panels is transferred to the zoo and PNA.

A rendering of the zoo's commissary with a solar panel installation. 

As part of the Community Solar project, new solar panels will be installed on the roofs of the zoo’s Rain Forest Food Pavilion and the Commissary building, generating about 16kW and 44kW of solar power, respectively.

The zoo's Historic Carousel hosts solar panels on the pavilion roof. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Solar energy isn’t new for the zoo—in 2011, solar panels were installed on our Historic Carousel, providing enough renewable energy to power the carousel all year long. That’s 100,000 rides worth of power! Even our parking meters feature small solar panels. 

This community project marks an exciting next step towards the zoo’s sustainability goal to reduce carbon use by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. What makes it extra special is that you get to join us in it! Together with our community, this project brings us closer to meeting our ambitious yet attainable, mission-driven goal for a more sustainable future.

To learn more about the project, browse our FAQ or visit Seattle City Light’s Community Solar webpage.