$147,000 Blue Sky Grant will Fund Solar Installation

“The center estimates that the solar installation will save $33,420 in electricity costs the first five years, growing to a total savings of about $217,000 by 2035.”

Things will start looking a bit differently at the Redmond Senior Center as early as this summer as a new roof is installed, a new portico is built over the main entrance, and a PV solar system begins installing on the roof.

Everything is expected to be completed by January 2022.

This project is the result of a partnership between the City of Redmond, Sunlight Solar, Pacific Power Blue Sky Renewal Energy, and the Redmond Senior Center, according to Teresa Hogue, a volunteer with the center who worked on the grant request to Pacific Power. The combined project is being paid for with funds from the City of Redmond’s general fund and a Community Development Block grant (for the new roof and portico) and a grant of $147,000 from Pacific Power to fund the solar installation. “A new roof is needed to support the solar installation,” explained Hogue. “The portico will improve the safety of entering the center, especially when there is ice and snow. In addition, the portico will increase the roof’s footprint, allowing for even more solar panels.”

“The center estimates that the solar installation will save $33,420 in electricity costs the first five years, growing to a total savings of about $217,000 by 2035, even factoring in an increase in the cost of electricity and inflation. “These savings are amazing,” said Hogue. “And, in turn, will be used to fund more robust programming at the center.” The center plans to host a Turn On Party in January if the solar installation proceeds according to plan, said Hogue. Part of the celebration will include a presentation on how solar works and the unveiling of a permanent educational kiosk in the center’s lobby. This will be the largest solar project the City of Redmond has taken on to date, she said, and will serve as an example how the Redmond Senior Center can steward large-scale community initiatives like investing in renewable energy sources.

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