Installing Solar PV on the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas and Islands Since 2003

Power Trip Energy is dedicated to improving the future of our community and our state through the use of renewable energy technologies.  We specialize in the design and installation of grid-tied PV systems on the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, and have installed over 2 MW of grid-tied pv on over 400 homes and small businesses since 2003.  Call us for the finest renewable energy technologies to help you reduce your energy usage by harvesting the free and abundant solar energy that surrounds us.

Latest From The Blog…

Utilities spending time and money fighting solar in Olympia

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”  I am reminded of this quote attributed to Gandhi, as we have definitely entered the fighting stage as the utilities commence freak out about roof-top individually-owned solar pv.

Chris Dunnigan does a good job with this status update, though I’d like to add a couple of easy points he did not make in his article.

While characterizing the WA state solar incentives as taking a “bite” out of the state budget, at about $4 million in 2014, he fails to note the state budget totals about $34 Billion annually – making this equal to about o.01% of the state budget, one ten thousandth, hardly a “bite” and not a bad deal for 6500 grid-tied pv systems, getting an average of about $600 each annually.  At a current rate of increase of 25% annually, this incentive could grow for a long time before becoming significant.  We are all in favor of fiscal responsibility for our state, and this incentive has resulted in hundreds of good jobs being created, and in a positive (though very small) increase in the cleanliness of our electricity usage here in Washington.

The utilities are citing potential technical difficulties resulting from the variability of solar energy throughout the day – an argument which is a pathetic joke.  The amount of contribution to our grid currently from rooftop solar is infinitesimal, as is the amount of lost revenue to the utilities.  This is not a realistic concern, the numbers don’t add up and the utilities are unable to present any actual data to bolster their claims.  My advice to you is to not believe it, don’t let the uninformed parrot this argument without showing actual evidence of it’s truth – they can’t.

In the meanwhile we’ve been on pace installing about 60 kw per month, a record Q1 for us by a long shot.  Will the utilities be successful making grid-tied pv systems less attractive for individuals in Washington?  I can’t know, though we will continue to fight against that.  If you have been considering going solar, now is a very good time to move forward.


Kingsbury web


Jefferson Energy Lunch Today, 12:30-1:30 – “Status of EV Development Activity Across Washington State”

IMG_6584Status of EV Development Activity Across Washington State 
Key Speaker: Tonia Buell, Interim Director of Public/Private Partnerships,
Washington State Department of Transportation, Olympia WA

Electric vehicles [EVs] – electric cars, electric scooters, electric buses, and electric trucks – are rapidly becoming a routine option for transportation and delivery in Washington State and there is now a considerable amount of related activity within Jefferson County to increase EV ownership and use. Although only about 100 EVs are currently in use here, several hundred are projected to be in regular use by the year 2020.

This transition to EV use in general transportation and delivery is good for climate (no emissions), good for electric rate-payers (increased public utility revenues from sales of electric power for transportation), and good for the local economy (increased tourism, new jobs and businesses, replacement of fossil fuel imports with local electricity).

This EV transition in Jefferson County is a clear example of why the local energy sector is one of the brightest opportunities for economic development here. Individual EV investments and personal commitments to the positive changes EVs offer for transportation and delivery are expected (i) to rapidly increase the number and variety of locally owned EVs, (ii) to broaden the scope and capacity of local facilities for EVcharging, and (iii) to gradually promote county EV use by residents, businesses, and tourists so that electric trips gradually replace fossil trips.

This transition will be addressed by our Key Speaker for March, one of the leading authorities in Washington State on EV development who has great enthusiasm for EV use.

The March Key Speaker is Tonia Buell, Interim Director of Public/Private Partnerships at the Washington State Department of Transportation in Olympia WA, who will discuss her experiences throughout the state with building EV ownership, with arranging for installation of EV charging stations, and with promoting EV use.

Following her presentation, Ms. Buell will answer questions raised by Energy Lunch attendees.

For further details about the March 2015 Key Speaker presentation see the attached one-page pdf file.

Please note that the March 2015 Energy Lunch will take place between the hours of 12:00 Noon and 3:00 PM at the Port Townsend Community Center (PTCC) at 620 Lawrence Street (at Tyler Street) in uptown Port Townsend.

The public and professional Energy Lunch activity at PTCC on Tuesday, March 17th is scheduled as follows:

12:00 Noon: PTCC Meeting Room Available for Brown Bag Lunch and General Discussion of Local Energy Topics of Interest
12:30 PM: Key Speaker Presentation: “Status of EV Development Activity Across Washington State” by Tonia Buell, Olympia WA
(includes Q&A)
1:30 PM: Continuation of General Discussion of Local Energy Topics of Interest
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Special Workshop (to be separately announced)

Barney Burke, Commissioner of
Public Utility District #1 of Jefferson County, will be present at PTCC to introduce Ms. Buell and to direct the Q&A for the Key Speaker presentation.

All residents, business people, farmers, local event organizers, and government officials are encouraged to attend this important presentation on the future of electric transportation in Jefferson County

Those who plan to attend at noon are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. Good sandwiches and other brown bag food is available at Aldrich’s, Pan D’Amore, and other nearby locations in uptown Port Townsend.

The Jefferson County Energy Lunch Program is funded by nine Local Sponsors: Power Trip Energy, Sunshine Propane, Huber’s INN, the Alaska Power & Telephone Company, the Port of Port Townsend, Frederickson Electric, the Port Townsend Paper Company, WSU Extension Jefferson County, and Port Townsend Friends of Energy Lunch.

Thank you.

Rick Van Auken
Programming Coordinator

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