For the Reporter
As one of five recipients of Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power solar grant, Northwest Harvest’s warehouse in Kent is now operating with the help of solar panels.
PSE tripled Northwest Harvest’s grant from $50,000 to $150,000 to ensure the system was large enough to offset more than 10 percent of its annual electric use.
Northwest Harvest, a statewide hunger relief agency, serving 375 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools, will be able to reduce their operating budget by more $5,000 per year with the installation of its solar panels, according to PSE. In addition, the 75 kilowatt project will result in approximately $34,000 in state incentives over eight years. This is a cumulative savings of $145,000 over the next 15 years, PSE said.
“Northwest Harvest is very appreciative of this grant from PSE,” said Thomas Reynolds, Northwest Harvest’s CEO. “We know that every dollar we can save in keeping our lights on and our food cold, is an extra dollar that goes toward helping provide nutritious food to those in our community who are suffering from hunger.”
PSE has donated $350,000 to install solar panels at five organizations that are either food distribution centers or emergency warming shelters in their respective communities.
“Whether it’s providing food or emergency shelter, the organizations that were selected have a history of helping people in their communities, which is aligned with what’s important to PSE,” said Bob Stolarski, PSE director of Customer Energy Management & Renewables. “We’re excited that funding these solar projects will help reduce the energy costs for our recipients, so they can put more money towards supporting their core mission while helping to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Along with Northwest Harvest; Salvation Army Bremerton, Island Senior Resources, Community Action of Skagit County, and Upper Kittitas County Senior Center have installed their solar panels.
The grants will allow each organization to meet at least 10 percent of their load with solar energy. Not only will these organizations receive energy savings but eight years of renewable energy production incentive payments from the state.
Each organization also received grants for high-powered generators from the PSE Foundation. Northwest Harvest was the only exception, because the organization already had a generator at its facility.
PSE has announced its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint 50 percent by 2040, and these solar projects are another step it’s taking with the community to preserve and protect the environment for future generations.
To see how PSE teamed up with Northwest Harvest to reduce carbon emissions, check out the full story here.