PSE’s Green Power Program challenged the Olympia community to flip the switch to green power and you responded. Olympia signed up over 4,000 customers to PSE’s Green Power program. Green power is generated from sources such as solar, wind, and biomass.
PSE awarded a $20,000 grant to the City to build a solar project at the Olympia Timberland Regional Library and the City provided an additional $40,000 in project funds. Through its Green Power program challenges, PSE has granted over $150,000 to cities to build solar demonstration projects. This investment highlights PSE’s commitment to renewable energy and the communities they serve.
The City partnered with Ameresco and South Sound Solar to design and construct the new system, which uses Washington-made solar panels and inverters. The system, which is mounted to the library’s rooftop, is comprised of 33 solar panels and will produce 8,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The electricity generated will help power the library facility and result in a cost savings of approximately $4,000 per year. The system is designed to allow for future expansion. The library will display project information for its patrons, including real-time energy production statistics accessed through the library’s web page.
Adding solar to the library demonstrates the City’s commitment to sustainable practices. This project is part of the City’s overall effort to reduce energy and water consumption. Since 2011, the City, in partnership with Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, Ameresco, PSE, and LOTT have completed over $6.5 million worth of energy and water conservation projects. The projects save enough energy to power 329 homes, save more than 20 million gallons of water annually, and reduce CO2 emissions by 3.3 million pounds a year, which is equivalent to removing 312 vehicles from the road. The costs savings to the City is over $350,000 per year. These projects were funded with a $500,000 grant from the Department of Commerce and nearly $1 million in incentives from PSE and LOTT. The balance was funded by a low interest loan, which is being repaid with the savings realized by these projects.