Featured Articles


Submitted by Lydia Place

In an effort to support Washington families impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is granting nearly $580,000 in new solar installations to 10 organizations within its service areas that provide essential services to families in need. This PSE 235kW Green Power Grant will save nearly 240,000kWh helping our planet while also reducing the operating cost for the organizations receiving them.

As one of the recipients of the grant, Lydia Place Community Engagement Director, Tally Rabatin states, “We (Lydia Place) are thrilled second-time recipients of PSE’s Green Power Grant! The installation will take place at our Bell Tower location, which includes housing units for families and functions as office space for Lydia Place program staff. Property management isn’t something we anticipated taking on as an agency but there has been a consistent uptick in the number of families entering homelessness over recent years coupled with the lack of affordable housing in our county-we had to find an alternative solution to the growing need.”

Lydia Place’s Campus Housing Program currently operates three properties, soon to be four, with their recent Heart House set to break ground as early as this fall. Although it continues to be a costly operation for the agency, the Campus Housing Program has helped hundreds of families who would not have qualified for housing otherwise. A feat that wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community Rabain explains, “It has been and continues to be a learning process and we are grateful to the City of Bellingham and community partners like Puget Sound Energy and Western Solar for helping us reduce operational costs so that we can keep saying ‘yes’ to families in need by keeping units like ours available to the community.”

Lydia Place received upward of $40,000 for a 15.84-kilowatt system is expected to generate 17,578kWhs annually, saving the organization roughly$1,723in electric bills each year.

This will be the second time Lydia Place and Western Solar are joining green energy forces. In 2016, Western Solar installed Lydia Place’s first solar system on another Campus Housing Program property, Baker Place. Western Solar shares why they’re equally enthused to be partnering again with Lydia Place, “They’re a crucial role in our community and Western Solar has been proud to offer what support we can over the years, both as a renewable energy provider and donor. We are very excited to be given the opportunity to continue that partnership through PSE’s Green Power Grant and help to provide clean renewable energy to a pillar of our community, freeing up much-needed funds for front line services.”

Applications for the next round of grant funding for 2020-2021 is currently open through Sept. 4, 2020. To learn more about how to apply, please visit:pse.com/greenpowergrant.

PSE continues its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and helping our customers do the same. Enabling our community partners to install solar projects is just another way we are committing to a better energy future. For more on PSE’s commitment, visit pse.com/together.

Read PSE’s original Whatcom Talk article here.

Translate »