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Solar Power at the Port

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Solar at the Port

The Port has completed the installation of two solar arrays on Port properties — a pilot project on a net shed at Fishermen’s Terminal — and most recently the rooftop of Pier 69, the Port headquarters. These projects demonstrate the Port’s commitment to developing renewable energy sources and another step towards achieving the Port’s Century Agenda Goal to meet all increased energy needs through conservation and renewable sources. These projects are moving the Port closer to its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2020, 50 percent by 2030, and be carbon neutral or negative by 2050 compared with 2005.

Why solar?

The Port believes that energy efficiency and renewable energy are critical components for reducing our air emissions footprint and decreasing operational costs. Solar energy is an emerging technology, which serves as a greenhouse gas reduction strategy.  

Supporting the green tech economy

Both solar projects utilize monocrystalline PV panels built in Washington state. The Port contracted with local firms to design and install the solar arrays, an investment in the local community and the economy.

Environmental sustainability

  • Using solar power instead of fossil fuels helps to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants in our atmosphere, which contribute to childhood asthma and other health and environmental problems
  • Solar power is a renewable resource, can be utilized anywhere in the world, and is available every day. It comes from a natural source that is constantly replenished.
  • Using solar power increases energy independence from peak demand times and during emergencies

Cost savings 

  • Solar energy reduces electricity bills and results in cost savings over time
  • Solar energy systems don’t require a lot of maintenance

Pier 69 Solar Project

Completed: April 2019

Solar panels on Pier 69, Seattle, April 2019The solar array was installed on the roof of Port headquarters, a three-story 191,000 square-foot structure that was built in 1931 by American Can Company, which produced containers for canned salmon. The Port purchased the facility in 1988 and later remodeled and renovated. The sloped metal clad roof exposes directly to the south, making Pier 69 the ideal location to install the solar array.

Project facts

  • Jointly funded by the Port and the State Department of Commerce
  • Designed to generate approximately 120,000 kWh annually, which will offset greenhouse gas emissions by about 2.0 to 2.5 metric tons CO2
  • Projected to save $10,000 in energy costs per year
  • The system includes 390 Washington-sourced Monocrystalline PV panels
  • The system designed and installed by Puget Sound Solar

Pier 69 solar array (as of 05/01/2020)

Renewable electricity generated from P69 solar array (as of 05/01/2020)


Pier 69 project costs



System design capacity (annually) 120,000 kWh
Total number of panels 390
Total cost $ 484,000
Grant ($ 317,000)
Internal rate of return (IRR) 6.7%
Payback (years) 17



Fishermen’s Terminal Solar Demonstration Project (Net Shed 5)

Completed: December 2017

Solar panels at Fishermen's Terminal, Seattle, July, 2018The net sheds at Fishermen’s Terminal are used to store fishing nets and gear for North Pacific Fishing Fleet, an amenity that helps retain the fishermen as tenants. Fishermen’s Terminal Net Sheds 3, 4, 5, and 6 all needed new roofs, so the Port used solar in the installation of one of the roofs as a smaller-scale pilot project to test solar and gather data to inform future solar panel installations.


Project facts

  • Includes 44 Washington-sourced Solar Panels on Net Shed 5
  • Designed and installed by A&R Solar 

Project impact

  • During the first year of operation, the array produced over 16,580 kWh, a 10 percent increase over the initial projections of 15,000 kWh for the entire year
  • The net shed takes 10,000 kWh per year to power, so the electricity produced renders Net Shed 5 “net zero,” with any remaining kilowatt hours produced distributed for other needs at Fishermen’s Terminal
  • The array is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost half a metric ton of CO2 annually

Electricity generated at P69 and Fishermen's Terminal combined (as of 05/01/2020)

Electricity generated at P69 and Fishermen's Terminal combined (as of 05/01/2020)
The 134,062 kWh of solar energy generated to date is equivalent to the energy needed to power about 11 average American homes each year! While Seattle City Light’s grid power is already extremely clean since its generated from mostly hydropower and renewable energy, power generation does produce a small amount of CO2. By using solar power instead of grid power, the Port has not only reduced its energy bills but also eliminated 2.8 metric tons of CO2 so far.

Solar Energy Generation Equivalency


Fishermen's Terminal project costs



System design capacity (annually) 16,000 kWh
Total number of panels 44
Total cost (No grant was received) $ 113,000


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