Olympia discusses solar-electric system for Quixote Village

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To cut energy costs and provide more sustainable electric power for low-income residents, the Olympia City Council is considering installing a solar-electric system at Quixote Village.

During the Olympia City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Manager Darian Lightfoot proposed that the city fund the balance of costs for a 73 kW rooftop solar energy system for the nationally recognized tiny-house village serving formerly homeless people.

Lightfoot shared that the plan is to install 116 solar panels at the common building to power its kitchen, shower, and staff offices.

Each 144-sq. ft. cabin would be equipped with four solar modules. In addition, 120 solar modules would installed on the 30 tiny homes which serve as permanent supportive housing for low-income residents.

South Sound Solar, an Olympia-based electrical contractor that specializes in solar power, has been selected to install the new system. The agreement provides a year of cleaning and inspection services. Overall, the project costs $150,000. The staff claims that the system will provide long-term benefits for the city with an estimated $551,330 in energy savings over the next 40 years.

During the meeting, Lightfoot recommended the city council approve a $78,269 grant to fill in a funding gap for the solar energy project. “This is a very exciting project. We’ve talked about equity and clean environments, and so to be able to provide this program... is very very monumental to us,’ Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby said.

CDBG is also seeking community input. Interested residents may submit their comments and suggestions at cdbg@ci.olympia.wa.us or they may call at 360-280-8951. The city is open to receive public comments until noon on Mon., Nov. 22.

Then, on Tue., Nov. 23, the Olympia City Council will vote for its approval. Once approved, the project is set to be completed by August 2022.

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  • Johns2cents

    This seems like a noble cause at the surface. The problem is that the more services we provide for the homeless and permissive drug policies we embrace, the more will come. We should do our fair share but not to the point where we are attracting homeless from other communities. Our crime rates are soaring. The only solutions our politicians have is to attract more homeless. What about root causes? When will we elect individuals intelligence and the capacity to actually reverse the homeless trends in the region. I'm not holding my breath.

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