By Mark Edward Nero
On Sept. 13, the five-person Port of Seattle Commission approved funding for design of the port’s first-ever solar demonstration project, a task at Fishermen’s Terminal that’s included as part of the replacement of net-shed roofs that house fishing nets and gear for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet.
The demonstration project is being designed to help the port gain in-house knowledge about the benefits and challenges of solar projects, including installation, operation and maintenance, according to the port.
Planners estimate that the net-shed solar panels could produce 11,000 kW of electricity per year, reducing carbon emissions by 279 pounds in the first year. The project could be in place by the end of 2017, according to the port.
“As we explore innovative policies to guide the reduction of our carbon footprint, I am encouraged that this demonstration project could lead the way for additional solar project opportunities at the port in the future,” Port Commissioner Fred Felleman said.
Solar power has increasingly piqued the interest of Port Commission which, earlier this year, convened an Energy and Sustainability Committee to guide the port’s policies related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency.