Submitted by Puget Sound Energy

The Ferndale Food Bank and the Whatcom Center for Early Learning will reduce their annual energy costs as well as reduce their carbon footprint with a solar grant from Puget Sound Energy. 

The Green Power Solar Grant was provided through PSE’s Green Power and Solar Choiceprograms to help each of the organizations install a new solar array at their locations. The Ferndale Food Bank was awarded $80,918 while the Whatcom Center for Early Learning (WCEL) is set to receive $38,409. Western Solar helped bring both projects to life. 

“We’re honored to partner with these two organizations that demonstrate a commitment to outreach in the community, diversity and caring for the environment,” said Will Einstein, PSE Director of New Product Development. “These solar panels will offset some of the organization’s operational costs, allowing Ferndale Food Bank to focus more on providing food and outreach to the community and allowing WCEL to support children with specialized needs and their families.”

The Ferndale Food Bank will install a 33.48-kilowatt project allowing it to generate 33,205 kWh annually which will offset about 95% of the organization’s annual electricity use with solar energy.

The Whatcom Center for Early Learning will host a 14.04-kilowatt project on its Little Brick House allowing it to generate 14,776 kWh per year, offsetting up to 100% of the organization’s annual electricity use with solar energy.

“Whatcom Center for Early Learning is proud to partner with Puget Sound Energy as the recipient of a 2022 Solar Energy grant,” said Erin Malone, Development and Communications Director. “We are committed to a healthy, sustainable world and reducing barriers for infants and toddlers experiencing disability and delays – and that includes maintaining the health of the environment through alternative energy sources. Working with PSE and Western Solar to implement this grant also means that more of our revenue will go directly towards the in-home therapy and classroom programs we provide all over Whatcom County.”

This year alone, PSE awarded nearly $1 million to 13 organizations and tribal entities serving low-income or Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) customers The generation of all the projects will total about 514,000 kWh annually, equivalent to powering nearly 53 average homes each year with newly installed solar from the Puget Sound region.

Over the past five years, PSE has awarded over $3 million to 48 local non-profits, public housing authorities and tribal entities to install new solar projects that both further clean energy in our communities and reduce those organization’s operating costs to free up more money to serve their clients and the community. PSE is currently accepting applications for its next round of Green Power Solar Grants. More information can be found at pse.com/applygpsg.

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