Solar array, battery storage to be installed on Port Angeles Senior Center

System could provide hours of backup power in case of an outage

PORT ANGELES — The City of Port Angeles has received a $450,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce to install a solar array and battery storage at the Port Angeles Senior Center.

The equipment, a 50 kW roof-mounted system with an energy storage capacity of 200 kWh, will replace the heating and cooling system and operate in case of a power outage at the center, 328 E. Seventh St. in Port Angeles.

The senior center is part of the city’s emergency management plan and can be used in extreme weather conditions.

The solar array is expected to be installed in June, city Parks & Recreation Director Corey Delikat said, and the battery storage will follow in late 2024 or early 2025.

The total project cost is $1.792 million, to be paid with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, and it also qualifies for a federal investment tax credit of $350,000, Delikat said.

The city would have about $200,000 left in ARPA funding after the project, according to city documents.

“We’ve been with TRANE Technologies for about two years,” Delikat said. “One of the things we want to do is assess our facilities, and those include the fire hall, senior center and city hall. We asked to put them under contract and evaluate the facilities and go from there.”

Once installed, the solar array and battery storage unit could provide three to four hours of backup power, Delikat said, and power could be directed to certain parts of the building, such as the kitchen.

The senior center and fire hall both were built in 1995, and the same contractor performed the work, Delikat said.

“They’re both the same age and basically going through the same problems,” he said.

The fire hall needs a total roof replacement before it can host a solar array, although funding for either of those projects hasn’t been determined.

“It’s really hard to find money out of the general fund for projects like this,” Delikat said. “They are giving us options for city hall and the fire hall. Our next step would probably be the fire hall, but we’re assessing what they come back at us with. We need to put in some numbers of what it’s actually going to cost.”

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Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-417-3531 or by email at brian.mclean@peninsuladailynews.com.

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