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Community solar project would be a first

PrintPublic meeting for investors set for Thursday in Leavenworth

You can get in on the ground floor of an investment that will rest on the roof of Icicle River Middle School in Leavenworth.

Photo of Icicle River Middle School

Icicle River Middle School may become home to Chelan County’s first community solar project. (Photo from school website)

Investors are being sought to help build a 14-kilowatt community solar installation on the middle school. A public meeting to explain the project will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Chelan County PUD office in Leavenworth, 222 Chumstick Highway. If successful, the project would be the first community solar farm in Chelan County to take advantage of the state’s Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Program.

Payments of $1.08 per kilowatt hour are available for community projects that use solar modules and inverters manufactured in Washington. The payments come from utility taxes and must be made to a local entity. Faith Lutheran Church of Leavenworth has stepped up to be the project administrator and would disburse funds to individual investors. The Cascade School Board is making the  middle school available to host from 72 to 96 solar panels.

The final number of solar panels will depend on the amount of money raised. Organizers have a goal of about $100,000 and would like to have the project up and running by mid-summer.

When the state program expires in 2020, the school district would take over ownership of the solar modules.

Data monitors tracking generation from the solar installation would be available on the Internet, providing math and science opportunities for students at the middle school or other schools.

Organizers have established a website here. They can be contacted at

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