Evergreen Options Grant Program
Evergreen Options is a voluntary program that allows Tacoma Power customers to buy electricity produced from new renewable sources, like wind and solar, through renewable energy certificates (RECs).
This annual grant program helps recipients generate a portion of their own electricity from renewable sources including wind, solar, geothermal, landfill gas, wave or tidal, biomass, gas produced during the treatment of wastewater, and qualified hydropower. Recipients may also receive credit for any extra electricity their system provides back to the utility. Grant funding comes from Tacoma Power residential and business customers who participate in the Evergreen Options program.
Shiloh Baptist Church has served as an anchor institution in the Black/African American community since 1953. Shiloh’s pastor and congregation have played an important role in organizing campaigns for climate justice and the NAACP, and Shiloh Baptist Church is a critical resource to many in need. Like other culturally and historically rich urban neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest, Hilltop’s longtime residents are fighting to preserve the fabric of resources and social bonds cultivated over decades.
The $50,000 Evergreen Options grant will enable Shiloh Baptist to construct a 19.78 kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation, in turn creating an opportunity to showcase grassroots solutions to the impacts of climate change, while investing in facilities that are the backbone of our community.
This solar array will create opportunities for education with youth and families. Because many of the church’s members are not positioned to invest in solar photovoltaics individually, this project creates an opportunity to learn about and experience solar first hand.
Franklin Pierce School District
The Franklin Pierce School District proudly serves 8,000 students from preschool to grade 12 in a variety of settings including an early learning center, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, two comprehensive high schools, one alternative high school, and a district farm.
The $50,000 Evergreen Option grant enabled Franklin Pierce to construct a 21 kW solar photovoltaic array at the district farm to reduce electricity costs and act as a solar learning lab for students. Students learn the importance of integrating new renewable energy technologies into the community.
The electricity from the 21 kW solar array directly reduces the electricity consumption of the barn building, which serves as an open-air classroom, community gathering place, produce wash and refrigeration space, and an indoor/outdoor space for visitors.
Jason Lee Middle School is a thriving school of over 600 sixth through eighth grade students. Jason Lee will use the $50,000 Evergreen Options grant combined with additional grand funding and donations from the community for the installation of a 99.9 kW solar photovoltaic array with a data monitoring system on the roof top of the athletics/electives building on campus.
This solar project is the culmination of a solar feasibility study conducted by three students while in eighth grade science class. After presenting the results of their study to the Governor’s STEM Education Innovative Alliance meeting and receiving feedback, the three students presented their proposal to the Tacoma School Board which express support for the project.
The proposed solar array will be the first solar installation in the Tacoma Public School District and serve as a model for future innovative technology projects. Students will be able to use data from the solar array for a number of classroom learning exercises.
The Tacoma Housing Authority will use the $50,000 grant to integrate solar panels into the Crisis Residential Center (CRC) at its new Arlington Drive Campus, which will break ground in 2019. The CRC will be a twelve-bed facility to house, serve and save homeless youth ages 12 to 17. The CRC will be part of a larger campus that will also serve homeless young adults ages 18 to 24. The total capacity of the new solar energy system will be 21 kilowatts.
“We’re pleased to be awarded this grant for solar energy. It not only allows us to contribute to a greener and more sustainable future, it also saves us money,” said Michael Mirra, executive director of Tacoma House Authority. “Those savings will strengthen the services we can provide to homeless youth and young adults to give them a second chance at a reasonable adolescence and adulthood without exploitation, impoverishment, and fear. We’re grateful to Tacoma Power for helping us do to that.”
Bates Technical College is a two-year public institution that has been providing quality training and education to Tacoma/Pierce County for 80 years. The college is known for its commitment to helping students find family-wage level employment. The $41,500 renewable energy grant will allow the school to install solar lighting at its south campus parking lots, which will increase safety and support energy conservation. It is estimated that the project will produce 3,728 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
“The South Campus hosts a number of instructional programs, including welding, carpentry, electrical construction and auto mechanics, among others,” said Bob Roehl, executive director of facilities and operations. “We are happy to be able to light up the parking lots with renewable energy generated on site.”
The site of this project will be the ‘Asian Forest Sanctuary’ area within the zoo. This building is the overnight home (indoor holding) to a number of species in the zoo’s collection, including the Indian Crested Porcupine, Lowland Anoa, Malayan Tapir, and Sumatran Tiger. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff and consultants chose this building from NW Wind and Solar, as they conducted an assessment throughout zoo grounds. The building was chosen for its proximity to the sun and easterly position, for greater potential to generate power, and for its public access along one of the main thoroughfares on Zoo grounds. Though the panels themselves may not be greatly visible, signage from our graphics department will be accessible to visitors to share information on our solar program and interpreters from our education department will share with the public how they may become invested in their own homes. We are also pursuing the possibility of real time monitoring of how much power has been generated from this project that could be displayed to the public on a digital reader. A total of 86 iTek energy modules will be installed on a ballast mounting system for a system size of 25.80 kW, all made here in Washington state to encourage participation in local business and innovation. Additionally, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium believes so much in ‘walking the talk’, our facility had decided to match the grant amount (increasing the number of energy modules from 40 to 86) in order to maximize the possibilities made available by the Evergreen Grant program, and to echo the community’s vested interest in the future.
Project Update – Dec. 2018
The 2020 application period will be open Sept. 1 through November 13, 2020.
- Enroll your organization in Evergreen Options
- Review grant materials and FAQs
- Take a look at the application
- For organizations interested in solar, consider getting a site evaluation prior to the September grant solicitation opening.
All Tacoma Power residential and business customers can support regional renewable energy development by enrolling in the Evergreen Options program. For a minimum of $3 a month, you can match a portion of your electricity use with renewable energy from the Pacific Northwest. If you have questions, or if you would like to have a Tacoma Power representative contact your organization about the program and grant opportunities, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants must be an Evergreen Options participant to qualify for grant funding.