This week PSE granted the King County Housing Authority, HopeSource in Cle Elum and the Opportunity Council in Bellingham nearly $465,000 to install solar panels at five low-income multi-family housing facilities they own and operate.
Puget Sound Energy picked the organizations for their work with families in need. Through its Community Energy Efficiency Program, the Washington State University Energy Program provided half of the funding for this project.
“We are continuing our commitment to the communities we serve by choosing to work with community action agencies that have a track record of serving people in need,” said Will Einstein, PSE’s director of product development and growth. “By funding these solar projects on multi-family housing, not only are we supporting their core mission, but also helping to reduce their energy costs — returning savings to their tenants, and reducing their carbon footprint.”
The King County Housing Authority will install panels on three of its properties: Meadows on Lea Hill Apartments in Auburn; The Village at Overlake Station in Redmond; and Windsor Heights Apartments in SeaTac. Collectively, the three systems generate 82 kilowatts, enough clean energy to power seven average households a year.
“These installations augment our resource conservation toolbox,” said KCHA Deputy Executive Director Dan Watson. “Not only will these projects provide the benefits of healthy, sustainable energy, they also help us preserve affordable housing threatened by rising energy and housing costs. Additionally, these upgrades help keep us on track to achieve our goal to generate 195 kW of solar power by 2021.”
HopeSource will install solar panels at the Westview Villa Apartments in Cle Elum. The 82-kilowatt project should produce enough energy to power about nine average households a year.
“With this project we will eliminate crushing winter utility bills for our low- income Households at our Cle Elum property,” said Director of Asset Management, Craig Kelly, adding that when the panels are installed, residents will no longer be responsible for their energy payments, effectively freeing them from winter electric bills that can climb as high as $400.
Opportunity Council will install solar panels at its G Street Apartment Building in Bellingham. The 31-kilowatt project should produce enough energy to power the entire fourplex over the course of a year.
“This partnership with PSE helps formerly homeless families experience greater housing stability through reduced energy costs in a way that is climate friendly. It’s a win for everyone,” said Greg Winter, executive director at Opportunity Council.
As part of PSE’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint 50 percent by 2040 and help its customers do their part, the solar projects are another step it is taking with the community to preserve and protect the environment for future generations.