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Mercer Island's first renewable energy installation being planned for community center
A solar array is being planned for the Mercer Island Community and Event Center as the Island’s first renewable energy installation.
IslandVision, a Mercer Island nonprofit, and community groups TIMI and the Mercer Island Green Ribbon Commission are working to raise $40,000 for the project.
Last year, Mercer Island met the goals of the “Green Power Challenge” and received a PSE grant of $30,000 when the City of Mercer Island Green Ribbon Commission collaborated with Puget Sound Energy to increase the number of green power subscribers on the Island.
A small team of volunteers researched the possibility of using the grant as seed money for a larger community solar array, similar to other communities in Washington state such as Whidbey Island, Edmonds, Bainbridge Island, Olympia and more.
The 10kW solar array will cost an estimated $70,000 to install on the grounds of the community center.
“We invite residents to donate to this exciting community solar project. Islanders have been generous in cooperatively funding our city parks and public amenities,” said IslandVision Board Chair Callie Ridolfi. “Likewise, if we raise $40,000, this will more than double the size of the solar array and provide a significant renewable energy resource for the Island.”
IslandVision expects the project to bring long‐term benefits into the community including:
- The solar installation will help power the community center and thus reduce the cost of operating the facility for decades to come.
- A demonstration project that will help educate the public and schools about photovoltaic solar electric power.
- A rebate stream that will go toward maintenance and expansion of the solar array.
- A tax-deduction for each donor who continues to deliver clean, renewable energy for the Island.
Solar panels will be on display during the Leap for Green fair at MICEC on April 13, and donations will be accepted. Donations may also be mailed by April 15, earmarked for the Mercer Island Community Solar Array, made out and sent to either: IslandVision, P.O. Box 432, Mercer Island, Wash., 98040; or the City of Mercer Island, c/o Kirsten Taylor, Mercer Island City Hall, 9611 S.E. 36th Street, Mercer Island, Wash., 98040. All donations of $500 or greater will be recognized on the site plaque.