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Solar Power at the Port

Solar at the Port

The Port has completed the installation of four solar arrays on Port properties — a pilot project on a net shed at Fishermen’s Terminal, the rooftop of Pier 69, the Port headquarters — and most recently two arrays at Shilshole Bay Marina. 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 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

The 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 11/1/2022)

Renewable electricity generated from P69 solar array (as of 10/1/2022)


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 by Cornerstone Architectural Group 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

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


Shilshole Bay Marina Solar Project

Completed: October 2020

Solar panels at Shilshole Bay Marina

 Two identical solar arrays were installed at Shilshole Bay Marina's new Central and South Customer Service Facilities. These new customer service buildings were approved for construction by the Port Commission in 2017. The plans incorporated sustainable design elements including the installation of these solar panel arrays. The solar arrays officially came online and started producing power in October 2020. 

Project facts

  • Approximately 2,000 square feet of solar array area for each building
  • Installed by A&R Solar under the main construction contract with Western Ventures Inc.

Project impact

  • Estimated annual solar production capacity: 23,500 kWh
  • System expected to produce up to 70% of the restrooms' annual electricity demand

Electricity generated at P69, Fishermen's Terminal, and Shilshole Bay Marina combined (as of 11/1/2022)

Electricity generated at P69, Fishermen's Terminal, and Shilshole Bay Marina combined (as of 9/01/2022)
The 615,424 kWh of solar energy generated to date is equivalent to the energy needed to power about 55 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 reduced its energy bills and eliminated over 9 metric tons of CO2 to date. 

A green circle with a blue house in the middle and the number 48 highlighted to show the energy equivalency for the number of average American homes solar power at the Port could power for one year.

Learn more in the Solar Power at the Port fact sheet.

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