The Gift of Green Energy
On June 27, 2018, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) dedicated the gift of a solar array to the Bellingham community in recognition of Whatcom County’s strong support of the utility company’s Green Power Program. The solar array was placed on the shelter at Taylor Dock, and will help power the lights on the wharf for this popular scenic destination.
PSE opted to use locally-made Itek Energy solar modules for the array. Itek’s modules were so local, in fact, that PSE’s Outreach Manager, Nick Hartrich, hatched a unique plan.
[Keep scrolling for photo gallery]
By Bike and By Sea
PSE had chosen local installation company Ecotech Solar to install the array on the Taylor Dock shelter roof. Itek’s manufacturing facility was only a few miles from the installation site. Hartrich and Ecotech owner Dana Brandt put their heads together and thought: why not get some of the modules to Taylor Dock by green means?
Rustling up volunteers from the local biking and paddling communities, PSE hosted an event that included transporting the solar modules directly from Itek’s manufacturing facility to the installation site at Taylor Dock via rowboat and bike trailer. Local bike enthusiast Kyle Morris picked the modules up from the factory on his bike trailer, and pedaled them the few blocks to the launching place at Glass Beach. The modules were then divided between rowboats—crewed by members of the WWU Men’s Rowing Team—and Morris’ bike trailer. The modules set out for their ultimate destination accompanied by flotilla of kayaks, a fleet of bicycles, and a lot of sunshine.
Dedication at Taylor Dock
In no time at all, the modules arrived by land and by sea and were unloaded by the Ecotech team to the Taylor Dock shelter. The event culminated in a dedication at Taylor Dock, with local company Mallard Ice Cream providing delicious treats to the crowd. PSE took the opportunity to educate more people about the Green Power Program, and one lucky onlooker went home with a gorgeous bicycle from a free raffle.
All in all, you can say that it was a very Bellingham day. And the community will enjoy the gift of solar energy for many, many years to come.
[Editor’s update: Check out this fun video from PSE of the event!]
Taylor Dock Event Photo Gallery
All photos by the author. Click a photo to view it in the gallery.