Washington Community Solar Faces Deadline Time

The clock is ticking for Puget Sound residents to earn free solar for their communities. As part of the “Flip the Switch to Green Power” initiative which aims to increase development of renewable energy sources in the region, Puget Sound Energy is offering $30,000 to fund community solar photovoltaic projects to the towns of Lacey and Olympia, Washington if 1,011 new customers sign up for the Green Power Program in 2011. To achieve the goal and earn community solar projects, less than 50 more customers need to sign up before year’s end.

4,000 residential customers in the two cities already participate in Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power program, which guarantees that some or all of the energy participating customers use is supplied to the grid by independent producers of wind, solar, biomass, or other renewable energy sources. Participants can either opt to get 100 percent green power for around $10-12 per month based on their actual usage or buy a specific amount of renewable energy with a minimum of $4 per month for 320 kilowatt-hours.

Flip the Switch to Green Power

image via Puget Sound Energy

In addition to knowing their television is powered by green energy, earning solar for the community, and helping create local green jobs, Green Power participants also get a Green Power rewards card that offers discounts at local businesses that are also participating in the program.

Michael Fritsch, owner of local drive-in restaurant Eastside Big Tom, purchases 100 percent green power for the restaurant, in addition to installing solar panels to heat water and providing an electric charging station. “Supporting the Green Power Program is a simple and inexpensive way for my business to support something we believe in, local renewable energy, and supporting this program is something most everyone can do for a small cost,” explains Fritsch.

Angeli Duffin is a Midwest transplant currently living in San Francisco, CA. Kicking off her career doing product design and development with Fair Trade artisans around the world, she then moved on to the editorial side, writing for eBay’s Green Team blog and working as a marketing consultant for social and environmentally minded companies