Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct governmental and commercial customers are now receiving renewable energy from the largest Western Washington wind project, Skookumchuck Wind Facility.
The Green Direct program is a ground-breaking initiative designed to provide PSE corporate and governmental customers the ability to purchase 100 percent of their energy from a dedicated, local, renewable energy resource, while providing them with a stable, cost efficient solution. By adding more renewables to PSE’s portfolio, Green Direct also furthers PSE’s deep decarbonization goals and movestoward 100 percent clean energy by 2045, as called for in Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act.
“Our customers have been asking for clean energy, and we have taken those requests to heart and created programs like Green Direct,” said PSE President and CEO Mary Kipp. “I’m proud that we were able to work in partnership with our customers to structure an industry-leading renewable energy program that meets their needs.”
The project, owned by Southern Power, will produce enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of nearly 30,000 Washington homes. It is located on Weyerhaeuser timber land, located in Lewis and Thurston Counties. It is the first large wind project located in Western Washington; and the first in the state to be located on working forest land.
PSE teamed up with cities, government institutions and major commercial customers to provide them with renewable energy. In an effort to use energy that meets their financial and carbon reduction goals, customers agreed to a long-term service agreement in order to make the project viable.
Other entities and institutions like Western Washington University, Whatcom County, Port of Seattle and Sound Transit also committed to the project.
Many Western Washington cities have also signed up to cover all or part of their operations including Anacortes, Langley, Bellingham, Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Snoqualmie and Mercer Island.
Commercial customers include some of the most well-known brands in America including Costco, Target and REI Co-op.
Outdoor co-op REI will power parts of their Western Washington operations, including five local stores. The co-op is involved in green energy efforts throughout the country as it is actively working to more than halve its carbon footprint by 2030. REI has been an important partner in the development of the Green Direct program over the past decade.
“Access to clean energy is critical as we work to reduce our impact on the planet,” said Andrew Dempsey, REI senior manager of sustainability. “We hope this project can serve as an example that others might follow to add local, green energy to the grid.”
A second project for Green Direct, the Lund Hill Solar Project, is under development by Avangrid Renewables in Klickitat County. At 150 MW, Lund Hill would be the largest solar project in the state.
Residential customers can also support renewable energy production by participating in PSE’s long-running Green Power or Solar Choice programs.