Solar Demonstration Project

The Big Picture 2009:

The newest stream in the Pacific Northwest is about to begin flowing.  When that happens, two 7 1/2 hp electric re-circulation pumps will be operating full time to ensure constant flows.  In addition, a 5 hp electric pump will be used to import cool ground water into the system.

Approximately 80,000 kWh per year will be required to power the Trout Stream Exhibit and provide the power requirements of the Northwest Stream Center Visitors Building.  To meet those needs, we are seeking funds to install one of the largest solar arrays in the Pacific Northwest.

Another objective is to demonstrate to the public that solar energy is viable for residential and commercial application in the NW climate.  We envision a “kiosk” complete with displays that show the value of the solar gain and, on a sunny day, the “meter running backwards!”

Our goal is for up to 245,000 people a year to see the merits of solar energy by visiting this kiosk.  The roof and southern face of the Visitors Building will become the principle platform for solar panels.

By reducing the need for hydro electric power, we will remove a small bit of pressure on our salmon resources.

Total Estimated costs:  $830,000.

The Latest News:

In 2010, the Adopt A Stream Foundation received a Solar Demonstration Grant from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Snohomish County Public Utilities District “Planet Power” program. That grant, valued at $40,000, resulted in 16 photovoltaic panels and inverters being installed on the southern roof of the NW Stream Center’s Visitor Building Auditorium and a high tech “touch screen” monitoring system installed inside the building. The system is designed to be expanded.

In January, 2011, AT&T the Adopt A Stream Foundation received a “Champion of the Environment” award of $1,000 as a result of an AT& T employee’s recommendation. The Board of Directors decided to use those funds to purchase two more panels and Board Member Dan Davids contributed additional funds to purchase two more inverters bringing the total number of panels installed to 18 and making this a 3.87 kWh system.

The solar panels, expertly installed by Whidbey Sun and Solar on the east and west peaks of the roof, are now linked to the grid. During the year this small system is projected to produce up to 40% of the Visitors Building electrical needs. “This is very exciting says, Dan Davids, who led the foundation’s effort for this project. “It is a pleasure to be able to see how much power is being produced even on a cloudy day…we have a lot of space to add more panels” See this weeks sun power!