On National Energy Efficiency Day, King County is celebrating a $120,000 Green Up grant from Seattle City Light that will help bring 206 solar panels to the Steve Cox Memorial Park Community Center roof and help the historic King County Parks facility in diverse White Center achieve zero-net electricity status.
King County’s Steve Cox Memorial Park Community Center will soon achieve zero-electricity status and become a model for planet-friendly operations thanks to a Green Up grant from Seattle City Light.
The Green Up grant, totaling $119,014, will help pay for a 206-panel solar installation on the historic White Center facility’s south facing roof. The panels are expected to generate more than 70,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, powering the park’s community center and lighting up a nearby sport court.
“We will soon be able to power the White Center community center and the adjacent basketball court using only clean, renewable energy,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said. “Our partnership with Seattle City Light will accelerate the work we are doing to transform Steve Cox Memorial Park into a model for sustainable operations.”
The grant, announced on Friday, is especially welcome this week as Executive Constantine proclaimed Oct. 5, 2017, as Energy Efficiency Day in King County. Energy Efficiency Day is a collaborative effort between regional and national organizations, business, utilities, and individuals working to promote energy efficiency.
The Steve Cox solar panels are expected to be installed over the next month and should begin powering park facilities before December.
Combined with energy efficiency work already happening at the site, King County Parks anticipates the building will be a zero-net electricity facility after the solar panels are installed (it will still use some natural gas for space heating). Zero-net electricity means the facility will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.
Executive Constantine said King County Parks anticipates working with the site-based teen program, local schools and the Technology Access Foundation to highlight this clean energy project in an incredibly diverse community whose residents speak more than 28 languages.
The project is also being supported by a Washington State Department of Commerce grant for the installation of solar panels at Steve Cox, the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, and the Marymoor North Utilities Maintenance Shop.
King County was one of seven local organizations receiving nearly $1 million in Green Up grants that support renewable energy projects and education. The seven organizations will use the grants to help install solar panels at 14 public school, affordable housing, and community-based locations.
“Over 13,000 generous community members are investing in a clean, sustainable energy future by sending a few dollars each month to purchase renewable energy credits through our Green Up program,” said City Light Customer Energy Solutions Director Craig Smith. “City Light is proud to be the steward of this grant and part of the community partnership that will benefit our schools, affordable housing, parks, and hospitals.”
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About King County Parks
King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers more than 200 parks and 28,000 acres of open space, including such regional treasures as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 175 miles of regional trails, 215 miles of backcountry trails and a world-class aquatic center. By cultivating strong relationships with non-profit, corporate and community partners, King County Parks enhances park amenities while reducing costs.