The Port of Olympia added 48 solar panels to the roof of its 76,000 sq. ft. Marine Terminal warehouse in 2011. This is a private investment rather than a community solar project, and uses components locally manufactured in Marysville, Wash. June 2013 marked the end of Puget Sound Energy’s fiscal year and the results of the Port’s energy investment are positive!
The solar power system generated a total return of $5,581 for the Port since July 2012. The Port more than met the design goal of maximizing Puget Sound Energy’s energy harvesting incentive of $5,000. In addition, the panels generated 9,687 KWh of electricity, reducing the Port’s energy costs by $581. Combined, the earnings provide a 5.5% return on the Port’s investment.
When the Port planned to replace the roof of the then 25 year-old warehouse in 2010, alternatives that would decrease operating costs and increase environmental benefits were a high priority. Energy efficient lighting had already been installed. The Port selected the PVC roof and the stainless steel gutters to reduce the impact on stormwater run-off to Budd Inlet.
The Port selected solar panels with a goal of making the warehouse close to energy neutral.
The southern face of the warehouse roof is nearly perfectly aligned with the sun for solar installations. The number of panels (48) provides the best return on the investment.
A testament to the significance of the renovated, solar-powered warehouse to the community was its selection by Northwest Eco Building Guild for the 2011 South Sound Solar Tour.