Sometimes innovation takes big leaps, ushering in a new era in the form of groundbreaking new policies and technological invention. More typically, innovation happens on a localized scale, taking the shape of brave projects and new ideas. Gov. Jay Inslee traveled to the Spokane area last week to see two new projects that will improve the infrastructure of the region and connect the community more easily to the future.
Largest new solar project goes live in southern central Washington
First, Inslee visited Lind, a town between Spokane and the Tri-Cities. This community may be small, but their creative ambition has made them home to Washington’s largest new solar farm. The Adams Nielson solar array spans 170 acres, and will generate enough renewable solar electricity to power 4,000 homes each year. With 81,000 solar panels, this array is 25 times larger than the current largest solar farm in our state, and is providing power to over sixty large commercial customers in the state.
The new solar array is a prime example of the type of projects Inslee had in mind when he signed SB 5939 into law, which expanded and extended Washington’s Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Program. The project is providing power to Avista customers under Avista’s Solar Select Program, which is made possible by the state production incentive for solar energy funded through state public utility tax incentives.
“It’s about time that we move away from antiquated sources of energy like coal, and develop more diverse renewable energy options for our state,” Inslee said of the project. “As we consider policies to address the threats of climate change, projects like this solar array show that there is a demand for clean energy, and that Washington state is a leader in clean energy development. As we look for solutions that will help our state meet our emissions reduction targets and put us on a pathway to 100 percent clean electricity, more projects like this will be needed.”
Read the full story on the governor's Medium page.