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New microgrid in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood to power community center during outages

The microgrid is a system of solar panels and battery storage, helping keep the Miller Community Center's lights on even during a power outage.

SEATTLE — Ahead of Earth Day Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell celebrated the new microgrid at the Miller Community Center on Thursday.

Located at Miller Park in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, the new microgrid is a system of solar panels and battery storage and comes with new artwork at the community center.

The new grid brings greater reliability for the neighborhood’s electricity, even during a power outage while also helping reduce greenhouse gases through solar energy.

“The families and students in this community now have access to more reliable, resilient, carbon-free electricity. This is the kind of project we look forward to celebrating in neighborhoods all across Washington state,” Inslee said during a tour of the project.

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Paid for in part through a $1.5 million Clean Energy Fund grant, the project includes 132 newly installed solar panels on the community center’s roof, improved LED lighting in the facility and an energy-efficient boiler.

The grid’s storage system will be able to provide at least 16 hours of backup power to the community center when it is fully charged, but Seattle City Light said it expects the grid to provide at least 24 hours of power during an outage.

“This new installation reflects that urgent effort by providing clean electricity to the Miller Park Community Center. As we welcome President Biden to Seattle to celebrate Earth Day, we know collaboration, community partnership, and ambitious action define our ‘One Seattle’ approach to ensuring a healthy and sustainable climate future,” Harrell said.

On Friday, President Joe Biden is visiting Seattle to celebrate Earth Day and sign new legislation aimed at helping protect old-growth forests from wildfires.

Biden will start his day at another Seattle green space, Seward Park, on Friday morning before heading to Green River College.

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