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Spark Northwest provides educational events to community members to support renewable energy project development.
Spark Northwest accelerates the shift to clean energy one community at a time. Our programs make affordable, locally-controlled clean energy more accessible for all.
Welcome to the Press Room, where we share our work via articles, interviews, and press releases. Please check back regularly for updates and new information about our exciting projects!
Learn about the strides we’re taking toward a region powered by locally controlled clean energy through these stories.
Stay informed on local clean energy news by signing up for our bi-monthly e-newsletter (scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up). Recent newsletters can be found below:
City of Yakima will consider easier way to buy solar panels
It may soon get easier and cheaper to purchase and install solar panels in Yakima. The city is exploring a possible partnership with Spark Northwest, a Seattle-based nonprofit that aims to expand affordable, locally controlled clean energy. The group already partners with the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments in south Yakima County and brought a proposal to the Yakima City Council because it wants to work with a municipality. The group also is working with Mercer Island and Issaquah. Read more here.
University lands USDA grant for renewable energy development
George Fox University, a private Christian school based in Newberg, Ore., is reaching out to small farmers and vintners in the Willamette Valley after receiving a $100,000 Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant from the USDA. Students and faculty in the university’s College of Engineering will use the grant to help agricultural producers become more energy efficient, conduct energy audits and consider renewable energy options on the farm or vineyard. The university is collaborating with Spark Northwest, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization dedicated to renewable energy development. Funding will be provided by the USDA over two years, beginning this fall. Read the full article here.
Solar Energy Boosts Affordable Housing in Seattle
Affordable housing in Seattle just got a boost from the sun: Three Capitol Hill Housing properties, home to 147 low-income residents, will get rooftop solar power to generate their own electricity and reduce operating costs. With critical support from Seattle City Light’s Green Up Grant Program, the installations cap years of planning with Capitol Hill Housing by non-profit Spark Northwest (formerly Northwest SEED) and partner Emerald Cities Seattle. Read the full press release here.
Northwest SEED Becomes Spark Northwest !
Northwest SEED announces a new name and look to reflect the organization’s longstanding commitment to expand the use of affordable, locally controlled clean energy. Read how the organization is partnering with six local governments to make solar cheaper, faster and easier to install.
Community Solar’s Promise May Go Unfulfilled
Can Oregon do more to create a robust community solar program? We think so. Hear from our Policy Manager on the current rulemaking process in this Portland Tribune article.
Can Washington’s Solar Boom Survive the Legislative Stalemate?
Maria Dolan explores the solar industry in Washington State for this Seattle Magazine piece, citing Northwest SEED’s work in community solar.
February 17th, 2017
Energize Rogue Brings Discounted Heatpumps to Community
Energize Rogue has launched, bringing an incredible opportunity for residents and businesses in Josephine and Jackson counties to participate in a group purchase program for ductless heat pumps. Read the story here.
October 25th, 2016
Solarize U Eugene Donated Panels Installed
Solarize U Eugene solarized 80 homes, totaling 328 kilowatts of solar! The Eugene Solar Coalition and Platt Electric donated two 3.5kW solar electric systems for meeting our goal of 70 installations! One was awarded to the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) and the other went to the Veteran’s Housing Project. The donations will help these non-profits save money on their electric bills while producing clean, renewable energy. To learn more about ELAW’s installation, check out this press release. The University of Oregon Sustainability Department shares the story here.
Solar Plus Awarded U.S. Department of Energy Grant
Solar Plus, a joint effort of more than a dozen stakeholder groups in Washington and Oregon has been awarded a $2,050,000 SunShot grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to further deployment of solar energy in the Pacific Northwest. It is the largest of the 17 awards totaling $21 million announced. Read the full press release, and learn more here.
Energize Rogue Launches!
Energize Rogue will increase energy efficiency installations in the Rogue Valley, stimulate business growth, enable residents to reduce their energy costs, and support environmental stewardship, with support from a USDA Rural Business Development Office grant. Read the full press release and learn more here.
Energize Klickitat Launches!
Energize Klickitat will support small and emerging business in Klickitat County through educational trainings and a renewable energy or energy efficiency technology group purchase campaign. This program is made possible by a Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) awarded by the USDA Rural Development in Washington State. Read the full press release here.
Innovation, resiliency, and breaking barriers
March 25th, 2016
Community Power Network profiled Northwest SEED’s Solarize programs, exploring the growing sector of solar energy in the Pacific Northwest, and how Northwest SEED creates pathways for all people to access renewable energy. Read the full piece by John David Baldwin here.
A Future for WA Renewables
House Bill 2346 is currently under review by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, as Northwest SEED champions its progress to law. Jennifer Grove, Executive Director of Northwest SEED shares her thoughts on the bill, its potential, and the future of renewables in Washington. Read the full op-ed here.
Solar Power is in Woodinville’s Future
January 25th, 2015
The Woodinville Weekly reported on the launch of Solarize Woodinville, which kicks off on Thursday, January 28th at 21 Acres. The article highlights the benefits of Solarize campaigns, quoting the Woodinville City Council member and Northwest SEED partner Paula Waters as saying, “it takes a lot of the burden of research off an individual citizen.” Read the full article here.
NW Energy Coalition Honors Jaimes Valdez
Northwest SEED Policy Manager, Jaimes Valdez, is honored as a rising clean energy star at NW Energy Coalition’s Awards Gala. Jaimes has been named one of the 4 Under Forty making an impact on clean energy in our region. The Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, December 3rd, and will feature four honorees who have demonstrated commitment to environmental action.
EPA Announces 2015 Environmental Justice Small Grant Awards
October 8th, 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $1.2 million in competitive grants selected for award to 40 non-profit and tribal organizations working to address environmental justice issues nationwide. Northwest SEED is honored to receive funding for Renewable Energy Farm Walks, which seek to increase awareness and direct participation in renewable energy generation by agriculture producers. You can read more about the Northwest SEED proposal, and the other grant recipients here.
U.S. Department of Energy highlights Northwest SEED’s Rooftop Solar Challenge II
The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Community Solar Awards features the Rooftop Solar Challenge II. Northwest SEED partners with the Washington State Department of Commerce and other environmental organizations to create a more vibrant regional solar market.
Washington Governor Inslee praises five “Solar Communities”
April 8, 2015
Leading the helm, Northwest SEED’s Northwest Solar Communities initiative has been recognized for increasing residential solar energy installations through reduced costs, streamlined permitting. Gov. Jay Inslee today proclaimed the cities of Bellevue, Edmonds, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Seattle “Northwest Solar Communities,” acknowledging their various initiatives that have increased residential solar installations by nearly 200% since 2013. Congrats!
National Association of Farm Broadcasters Features Northwest SEED’s Mia Devine
March 3, 2015
Listen to Mia Devine share advice on how to avoid common mistakes for installing small wind systems. As farmers know, plants must be grown in the right locations. The same goes for wind turbines. As part of the Northwest Wind Resource and Action Center, Northwest SEED created a Consumer’s Guide Checklist for Small Wind Electric Systems to educate people about small wind turbines and help them avoid mistakes that give small wind a bad reputation.
Northwest SEED selected as 2014 Environmental Investee by SVP Seattle
June 23, 2014
Northwest SEED is delighted to report that we have been selected as the 2014 Environmental Investee by SVP Seattle. We are looking forward to starting work on this partnership, and expanding access to clean energy across the Pacific Northwest!
Bloom Seattle 9 featuring Linda Irvine from Northwest SEED
February 20, 2014
Linda Irvine, along with seven other innovative leaders in Seattle, spoke at the Bloom! Seattle event on her passion for sustainability, her work at Northwest SEED, and our Solarize Washington and HEATWISE programs.
Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits video featuring Northwest SEED
September 10, 2013
Northwest SEED, along with two other non-profits, received a donation of Microsoft’s Office 365 software and participated in a video about its launch, check it out here!: NWSEED & Microsoft O365. You can find more information about Microsoft’s donation program on their website or Facebook page.
Sustainability Segment with Northwest SEED and Puget Sound Solar
July 27, 2013
April 22, 2013
Northwest SEED, Seattle City Light, and Solarize Seattle: Northwest participants discuss their experience with the Solarize Washington program.
Crosscut: Won’t You be my Solar-Panel-Buying Neighbor?
February 13, 2013
Northwest SEED’s Alex Sawyer talks to Crosscut about the Solarize Washington solar group purchase program, the latest campaign in Northwest Seattle, and available incentives for solar. The article includes an audio link as well!
Seattle Times: Solar Neighborhood Projects Shine in “Sunbreak” Seattle
February 2, 2013
Jennifer Grove, Seattle City Light, and volunteers from the Solarize Seattle: Northwest campaign discuss the campaign, the incentives, and City Light’s support for the project.
Community Organizations Selected for Free Solar Power Systems
September 11, 2013
Two local community organizations – Bike Works and Clean Greens Farm & Market – will receive a donated system to generate renewable energy for their facility if enough homes in central and southeast Seattle neighborhoods choose to install solar electric systems in the coming months.
Free Solar Power System to be Awarded to Qualifying Community Organizations
July 23, 2013
The Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast Community Coalition is seeking applications from qualified community organizations who would like to have a donated solar photovoltaic system installed at their facility to generate renewable energy for the facility and to use as an educational tool.
Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast is Now Open for Registration
July 8, 2013
Solar group purchase campaign for central and southeast Seattle Neighborhoods
Northwest SEED and Seattle City Light have launched a solar energy education and installation program that provides a streamlined process for residents and small businesses to purchase solar systems for a discounted price.
Spark Northwest provides educational events to community members to support renewable energy project development.
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Spark Northwest provides publications, guidebooks and web tools that help communities pursue clean energy projects.