Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Distributed energy production questions answered by Seattle City Light


I am a Fremont resident inquiring out of curiosity about Seattle City Light policy towards residents or businesses connecting their power generation to, and selling to, the Seattle City Light grid. To get a quick context of what I am exploring, please read the following:

"The reason that all these other countries are building solar-panel industries today is because most of their governments have put in place the three prerequisites for growing a renewable energy industry: 1) any business or homeowner can generate solar energy; 2) if they decide to do so, the power utility has to connect them to the grid; and 3) the utility has to buy the power for a predictable period at a price that is a no-brainer good deal for the family or business putting the solar panels on their rooftop."

- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/opinion/16friedman.html

Any information would be helpful,

-Lance Miller

Hi Lance,

Thanks for your email. City Light is proud to have about 200 solar electric systems installed in our service territory. The majority of these are residential systems, though there are about 20 systems installed on businesses, plus 24 demonstration systems on schools, parks, libraries and other public buildings.

All of these systems are eligible for net metering, which is where if your system is producing more power than you can use at any moment, you can send that energy back onto the electric grid and spin you meter backwards in the process, earning a credit for the electricity. System owners are also eligible for the WA State Renewable Energy Production Incentive which pays up to $5,000 per year for the energy produced (at $0.15 to $0.54 per kilowatt-hour generated).

We just put the finishing touches on a guide to installing solar electric systems and I've attached that here. More info can be found at www.seattle.gov/light/solar. Please let me know if you have more questions I can help answer.


Meg Gluckman
Solar America City Coordinator

Seattle City Light
Conservation Division

No comments: