Gateway: News

PenLight customers can soak up the sun

In autumn, the leaves are turning brown while some Peninsula Light customers are turning green thanks to a new solar power project expected to be in place this fall.

Peninsula Light is introducing The Harbor Community Solar project, a 60-kilowatt solar power project that will provide users a chance to save money while also using environmentally-conscience power.

Solar panels will be installed on the roof of the Sehmel Family Building at the Harbor History Museum sometime this week, likely between Friday (Oct. 9) and Monday (Oct. 12).

Peninsula Light has partnered with both the Harbor History Museum and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, based in Portland, for the project. The panels are being installed by Seattle-based A & R Solar, an experienced contractor that has done similar projects.

“They have a lot of experience on their team,” project manager Jim Bellamy said.

Right now, the utility company is seeking participants. As of Monday evening, the company had signed up 23 customers for 460 units. Customers can buy up to 100 units, with 1,850 units available overall. There is no minimum amount of units. The cost for customers is $100 per unit.

In order to keep it fair, the units will be distributed to customers through a lottery system.

“Everybody will get a chance to to be a part of it,” Bellamy said. “We think that there will be plenty of folks that want to participate.”

The deadline to enter the lottery is Nov. 6, with the lottery taking place on Nov. 13.

There is incentive, Bellamy said, as each customer could recoup their cost by the end of their third year in the project “and the rest of it would go to the bank.”

Users will be eligible for state incentive payments through 2020.

Bonneville will help Peninsula Light with a Solar For Our Schools program to provide an educational component in Peninsula schools, Bellamy said.

Participants in the Harbor Community Solar project must be Peninsula Light customer. To enroll and find out more, visit Peninsula Light online at

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155