$50K Awarded for TPC Solar Project!

We’re thrilled that The Mountaineers was recently awarded a $50,000 Evergreen Options grant from Tacoma Power. These funds will help us install solar panels on the roof of the Tacoma Program Center and generate 100% of the building’s energy needs, greatly reducing our carbon footprint.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 10, 2021
$50K Awarded for TPC Solar Project!

Attention Mountaineers! We have some BIG, eco-friendly news to share. Tacoma Power has awarded The Mountaineers a 2021 Evergreen Options grant of $50,000! This sought-after grant means our Tacoma Program Center (TPC) will soon be powered by rooftop solar an enormous win for The Mountaineers and our whole community.

Mountaineers leaders greeted this exciting news with the cheers usually reserved for a heroic alpinist. Indeed, it was a gnarly ascent. Months of detailed planning and revision from researching technology, to talking with contractors, to describing the project in persuasive terms went into the highly-technical grant proposal, championed by our Carbon Footprint Reduction (CFR) Committee.

The Mountaineers quest for renewable energy sources gained momentum in early 2018 when longtime volunteers and donors Charlie and Carol Michel generously supported the Seattle Program Center’s goal to install a solar array. By January 2019, the solar project was up and running, reducing The Mountaineers energy use and saving our organization $10,000 in fuel costs annually. 

Motivated by this success, the CFR Committee announced a three-phase NetZero Energy Project for the Tacoma Program Center. Phase One, completed in 2020, converted all clubhouse lighting to LEDs. Phase Two, currently underway and 100% funded by member donations, will enable us to invest in energy-efficient electric appliances and air-sourced heat-pump technology. Phase Three, which is now in motion thanks to the utility’s Evergreen Options grant, will power the Tacoma Program Center with a 29kW solar PV system. Upon completion of Phase 3, we expect 100% of the building’s energy needs to be met year-round without the use of fossil fuels.

With our Evergreen Options grant in hand, construction can start as soon as spring 2022. To complete this work, we will partner with Artisan Electric, a signatory IBEW Local 46 electrical contractor committed to apprenticeship and a diverse workforce. Once the solar array is installed and the TPC NetZero Energy Project is complete, we will host a grand opening celebration for our community. Our revamped TPC will signify a victory for sustainable energy, leave-no-trace principles, and our organization’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.

We would like to extend our thanks to our members, whose commitment, outreach, and overwhelming enthusiasm helped bring this multistage process to life. Our gratitude to all of you who voted for our proposal cannot be overstated. We’d also like to thank Tacoma Power’s Evergreen Options program participants for their meaningful investment in the Tacoma community through projects that support the use of renewable energy technologies*. And, of course, thank you to our Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee members, who work tirelessly to reduce The Mountaineers impact on the planet.

We look forward to updating you on the progress of this important project in spring 2022!

*Evergreen Options is a Tacoma Power program funded by utility customers who support new renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest. Tacoma Power’s hydroelectric generation portfolio is 97% carbon free. Hydroelectricity is a clean and renewable power source. If you purchase electricity from Tacoma Power, you can support new renewable energy by enrolling in Evergreen Options at MyTPU.org/Evergreen.