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Bellingham-based itek Energy, Washington’s leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, has completed a solar installation on the banks of Georgia Pacific’s former Aeration Stabilization Basin. It is the largest community solar project in Whatcom County.
The employee-owned 60kW system boasts 236 itek Energy solar modules and 8 Solectria inverters, all manufactured at the Bellingham factory, and voluntarily installed by itek Energy employees. The system will generate up to 70,000 kwh/yr, enough to power 12 homes. Through the State’s Renewable Energy Production incentive itek Energy employees will receive a yearly dividend for the solar power produced for the life of the installation.
“This solar project will be connected to the PSE grid and is basically a mini-power plant that will help offset the energy usage of the nearby Technology Development Center utilizing clean, green energy harvested from the sun” said itek Founder and CEO, John Flanagan. In addition to generating power, this system will be used for research and development on how to improve solar panel performance, durability and efficiency.
Flanagan founded itek Energy in 2011 and the company began full production in 2012 with 15 employees, manufacturing 2 megawatts (MW) of solar PV modules. After only 4 years of production itek now has over 90 employees, and is building over 2 MW per month.
In the United States, clean technology is rapidly developing into an important part of the national economy with over 2.7 million workers. As the Port’s focus on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront shifts from cleaning up the property to industry recruitment and job creation, clean technology manufacturing, research and education provides opportunity that fits the community.
“Clean technology is a component of the Port of Bellingham’s economic development strategy. Itek Energy represents the type of industry we want to retain and attract in Whatcom County,” said Rob Fix, Port of Bellingham Executive Director.