WEEKEND: Solar power tour in Carlsborg highlights energy’s growth

CARLSBORG — The Clallam County Public Utility District and local solar contractors will offer a close-up look at what home­owners are doing to generate power from the sun during the sixth annual Clall­am County Solar Tour on Saturday.

The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.

The tour begins at Greywolf Elementary School, 171 Carlsborg Road, where maps and other tour information will be available.

Saturday’s tour will have 14 participating homes, with the PUD’s mobile house on wheels — a solar-power demonstration unit — at the school.

Homes on the tour include a concentration at the base of Sequim’s Bell Hill and spread all the way west in the Dungeness Valley to the end of Gasman Road.

Interest in home solar power systems is growing rapidly.

Clallam PUD now has 105 solar customers, including 36 that were added by the power company in 2010.

So far this year, 13 more have signed up with the PUD — and more are lining up, the PUD said.

Brief demonstrations

In addition to touring solar-powered homes in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley area, there will be several brief presentations about solar power.

Michael Currie, PUD utility services adviser, said he will open the program at Greywolf School at 10:15 a.m. to talk about the PUD’s INSPIRED program, an acronym for In-State Production Incentive for Renewable Energy Development Program.

PUD now has 71 customers enrolled in INSPIRED, Currie said.

The program through 2020 offers residential, business and governmental Clallam County PUD customers with approved solar, wind and/or biomass energy production systems discounts ranging from 12 cents to 54 cents per kilowatt hour — or up to $5,000 annually — depending on the type of system and state of manufacture.

Currie said between 100 and 150 people usually show up for the tour, with some choosing to head out to site homes and some listening to contractor presentations.

Contractors represented for the tour are Sequim Electric, Frederickson Electric of Port Townsend, Power Trip Energy of Port Townsend and Sunergy Systems of Seattle.

The schedule:

■ 10 a.m. — Event begins. Maps and tour information available.

■ 10:15 a.m. — PUD introduction and Conservation Programs Overview by Currie.

■ 10:30 a.m. — “Spin Your Meter Backwards — Solar PV 101,” Andy Cochrane, Power Trip Energy.

■ 11:15 a.m. — “Does Solar Work in the Northwest?” by Greg Williams, Sunergy Systems.

■ Noon — Community Solar PV, Hans Frederickson, Frederickson Electric.

■ 12:45 p.m. — “Ask the Experts,” a panel fielding questions represented by Power Trip Energy, Sunergy Systems, Frederickson Electric and Sequim Electric.

■ 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Solar homes on tour.

For more information on the tour, visit www.solarwa.org/clallam-county-1.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at jeff.chew@peninsuladailynews.com.

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