Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Planet Power supports local solar projects on buildings such as schools, libraries, city halls, and other community sites where customers can learn about solar and see the technology in use.

As part of its strategic plan for meeting future customer demand, Snohomish County PUD is committed to exploring environmentally friendly energy sources including wind, solar, small hydro, biomass, biogas and geothermal energy. The PUD believes that the development of local, small-scale renewable generation is an integral part of encouraging green power in its service territory.

The Planet Power program is funded by customer contributions and administered by the PUD to provide grants to carefully selected sites in the PUD service area that offer community access and good potential for generating electricity from environmentally friendly resources. Customers that contribute to Planet Power are supporting power resources that are:

  • Local – sites awarded grants must be within Snohomish County or Camano Island
  • Renewable – power is sustainable and environmentally friendly
  • Meaningful – make a difference in your community
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What is the Planet Power program?

Planet Power is a voluntary program that allows Snohomish PUD customers to support small-scale renewable projects in Snohomish County beyond what is already being done by the PUD. 

What types of projects are funded by Planet Power?

The Mountlake Terrace Park & Ride lot on 236th, which opened in February 2009, is a fine example of Planet Power dollars put to good use. This 5-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system received a grant from the Planet Power program and reflects our community's commitment to sustainable living.

The system is grid-tied, which means the energy it produces is delivered into the overall energy pool from which all Snohomish County residents draw power. The Park & Ride's meter credits the energy it creates and deducts the energy it uses. If the panels generate more power than the facility needs, that extra power will be available on the grid to be used by others. As more sources of renewable energy such as this feed power into the grid, less non-renewable sources will be needed.

What is "renewable" power?

Power generated from sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydroelectric resources. These resources are considered better for the environment than fossil fuels because they produce few, if any, pollutants and are replaced relatively quickly by natural processes.

How does Planet Power benefit the environment?

Purchasing Planet Power has direct impact on the Northwest’s environment. Every dollar contributed to Planet Power goes directly to operate the program, educate the community, and increase the level of energy that is produced from new renewable resources. Furthermore, your Planet Power contribution encourages more investment in renewable energy, helping reduce costs over time. As we increase the diversity of energy resources in our power supply, this also helps stabilize future energy prices here in the Northwest.

Are there any other benefits to increasing the demand for green power?

Yes. There are benefits to the local economy as Planet Power only supports projects in the PUD service area. The development of these projects translates into new green jobs for development, operations and maintenance of these systems.

Why does green power cost more?

As new kinds of renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass, etc.) are being developed, they’ve typically been more expensive than traditional sources, such as coal or gas-fired facilities. This is due to the comparably higher construction and equipment costs when compared to more traditional sources. And while renewable power can be more expensive, its use helps protect our environment by reducing the impacts of more harmful energy sources.

Will this program affect customers who don't enroll?

This program is fully self-sustained through the enrollment of program participants. Those that choose not to participate will see no changes to their electrical service or rates as a result of the Planet Power program.

How is the Planet Power money used?

Every dollar contributed to Planet Power goes directly to operate the program, educate the community, and increase the level of energy that is produced from new renewable resources. Washington state law requires us to make this program self-sustaining so those customers who don’t participate see no impact to their rates; therefore, program revenues must cover the costs for the new generation sources developed as well as the operating costs of the program. These operating costs include all expenses for enrolling new customers, reporting results to participants and the Legislature, and program management.

What if I want to change or cancel my participation?

This program has ended and we are no longer taking enrollments.