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  • Writer's pictureMarkus Virta

WA Port Districts and Clean Energy: Community, Economy, and the Environment

As a leading renewable energy company, Cascadia Renewables strongly believes in the sustainable design, development, and operation of Port assets. We understand the critical role that Washington’s local Port Districts play in supporting economic growth by providing a platform for businesses to connect with customers and suppliers. However, we also recognize that Ports can have a significant impact on the environment and communities in which they operate. That is why Cascadia Renewables specializes in developing long term strategies to strengthen the financial impact of Port operations while demonstrating innovative clean energy projects and environmental leadership.

Source: Port of Bellingham

One way to achieve these goals is by assessing the feasibility of implementing onsite solar photovoltaics and energy storage for Port buildings. Cascadia Renewables offers low cost ROM (rough order of magnitude) project feasibility for a Port’s entire portfolio of buildings. Cascadia Staff can then dive deeper into project design, finance, implementation timeline, RFP development, contractor selection and construction oversight. This ensures a smooth life cycle from project assessment to completion.

Solar photovoltaic systems, when well designed, can dramatically reduce operating costs for Ports and their tenants. Onsite energy storage systems (ESS) allow the customer to manage their energy usage by reducing (or even eliminating) demand charges by storing excess solar energy for use during periods of high demand or when there is no sunlight. By leveraging the economics of local clean energy projects Ports can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, lower their energy bills, and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

In addition to the environmental benefits, there are several reasons why a Port District in Washington State should consider solar and onsite energy storage for it's portfolio of buildings.

  1. The cost of solar photovoltaic systems has decreased significantly in recent years, making the technology more affordable than ever before. Installing solar panels can provide long-term cost savings allowing the Port to divert more resources to community engagement and development.

  2. Solar photovoltaic systems require minimal operations/maintenance costs and have a long lifespan. Today's solar modules come with a standard warranty of 25 years, and have a useful life of 35-50 years.

  3. Building well designed solar and onsite energy storage projects help Ports demonstrate environmental leadership and promote sustainable business development. By taking a proactive approach to energy efficiency and renewable energy, Ports can show their commitment to reducing their environmental impact and contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable future.

  4. Finally, installing solar projects can contribute to property improvement, restoration, and reuse. Many ports have underutilized or vacant land/roof space with buildings that could be repurposed for solar panel installation. By leveraging these spaces for renewable energy, Ports can breathe new life into unused areas and create a positive impact on the surrounding community.

Cascadia Renewables partners with Port Districts across Washington State to consider and construct well designed solar and energy storage projects for their portfolio of buildings. By harnessing clean energy projects, Ports can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, lower their energy bills, and demonstrate their commitment to community resilience.


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- Markus and Callum


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