pss 2020

As 2019 sunsets, we’re taking a quick look back at another year on the “solar coaster.”

2019 was an exciting year for Puget Sound Solar and EV Support, our electric vehicle division.  

Thank you for your continued support of a small, local company helping make the planet better with non-carbon emitting solar, battery-storage and EV charging installations.


Our 2019 highlights include the completion of our 1,600th residential solar installation since 2001!!! Did you know Puget Sound Solar installed the first permitted grid-tied solar PV project in Seattle?!?! 

We’re also wrapping up the installation of 500 Level 2 electric vehicle chargers as part of a pilot project for Puget Sound Energy. We’ve installed over 1,000 residential and commercial-grade EV chargers as the number of electric vehicle drivers reached over 50,000 in Washington this year. 

ryan and cole set 1200 lb btc power fast charger

Did you know you can charge your EV for free on one of our six public charging stations on the Dearborn side of our building?

puget sound solar on dearborn side

In September, one of our owner’s, Jeremy Smithson, was recognized by Solar Washington with the non-profit’s inaugural Leadership Award that is focused upon leadership in "solar energy education, management, project and program delivery, as well as best practices for improving access and inclusion in the WA solar industry." 

 jeremy smithson recieves solar washington award

We’re proud of Jeremy and Pam (Burton, our other owner and Jeremy’s wife). They’ve worked tirelessly to build a company that provides local clean energy solutions and jobs. Both are heavily involved in the community, advocating for sustainability and social justice issues.

As noted, Jeremy’s been a leader with his advocacy and policy work for solar, electric vehicles and the environment. He’s participated in numerous workgroups, helped craft legislation and testified in Olympia for decades. Puget Sound Solar was there this year when Governor Inslee signed a bill extending Net Metering benefits and re-establishing a no-sales-tax on solar in Washington. 

net metering bill signing

We were pleased to be selected as the installer for the Solarize the Land Trust program.  Spark Northwest and Homestead Land Trust partnered with four organizations to procure grants for low and moderate income households to get financial assistance for going solar.  As a result, ten households in the LandTrust installed solar and when they sell their home, another low-moderate income family will get the benefits of lower electrical bills. We’re going to release some more information and celebrate this project in mid-January. Being involved in this project to address one aspect of the inequity in solar has been rewarding for our whole team.

2019 10 29 solarize the land trust kaufman hall home 92 


We completed some large commercial scale projects this year, including a 117 kilowatt solar system on top of the Port of Seattle’s Pier 69 Headquarters on Puget Sound.  We installed 390 solar modules and 11 commercial solar inverters on Pier 69. The views were outstanding and the system will get viewed by hundreds of thousands of people each year on Seattle’s waterfront. 

2019 03 05 pier 69 install 37 


We also wrapped up solar projects on a handful of schools in the Seattle School district.  We love doing these projects because it showcases solar to future generations.

2019 10 09 thornton creek elementary 5 


We’re also starting to see the beginnings of a shift in the solar marketplace. It wasn’t that long ago that solar PV was unable to interconnect to main Utility electrical grids. (Engineers here in Washington figured out how to get a solar inverter to mimic the sine wave on the Utility electrical grid so it could interconnect seamlessly.  That discovery enabled the growth of grid-tied PV systems, across the globe.) We’re now getting more and more requests for energy storage solutions like Tesla’s PowerWall and expect this segment of our business to grow as the costs of battery technology decreases and as homeowners and businesses want greater control and energy independence from their electrical utility. Being able to island/isolate a system or be interconnected is a game-changer for solar.  

20190903_161918 cropped

 Puget Sound Solar will be bringing our decades of experience to the Miller MicroGrid project in early 2020.  This will be the first MicroGrid in Seattle and will enable the Community Center to be a hub with power, lights and heat when a natural disaster or power outage occurs. 

We meet some of the most wonderful people in our jobs.  People who are motivated to save the planet by reducing carbon emissions, people who care deeply about social justice issues and 2019 was no exception ...

We hosted Ben, a college intern from the University of Puget Sound and Layal, who is here in the US on a Fellowship from Syria.  Layal took the lead on designing two battery-based solar PV systems that will be used to power up communications systems in case of a natural disaster or power failure in the region. 

2019 11 06 silfab tour 1 

We also met a pair of amazing young men from Australia with a crazy dream of driving an all-electric, solar-powered van from the Arctic Circle to Argentina.  The Seattle Electric Vehicle Association came to our shop to check out Route Del Sol and even donated to the cause. (Thank you SEVA!!!) You can donate to Route Del Sol here.

route del sol in ensenada   img_9408

Puget Sound Solar participated in the 16th annual NW SolarFest and sponsored the KidZone area where children of all ages could play with solar race cars, build birdhouses or fire boats and check out goats. We look forward to this event each July so we can visit with our peers and get acquainted with tons of our customers.

Several of our Puget Sound Solar teammates upgraded or installed solar this year and a few purchased used electric vehicles.  It’s fantastic driving on solar energy and emitting zero emissions. 

2019 10 11 ella willard schmoe install 30       2019 10 15 ella willard schmoe install final 2 


We participated in the Green Home Tour, Sustainable Ballard Festival, Greenwood Car Show, Crown Hill Festival, Global Climate Strike Day, Green Transportation Expo, Bike Everywhere Day and once again were recognized by Solar Power World Magazine as one of the Top Solar Contractors in Washington State. 

We’re excited about 2020. Solar, battery storage and electric vehicles all continue to show growth patterns.  Our customers can benefit from the 26% Solar Investment Tax Credit, no sales tax (~10% of a system’s cost) and Net Metering while working with the most experienced solar company in the Pacific Northwest.  We’ll continue to offer our industry-leading 25-year Workmanship Warranty as we embark upon our 20th year installing clean energy solutions. 

asset 8

Finally, it’s time for us to sit back, relax, have a cup of Covfefe, reflect upon 2019, and look forward to 2020.

covfefe time

Thank you for joining us on this clean energy adventure and let us know how we can help you with your project in the New Year.

Happy New Year from the Puget Sound Solar team!!!!

About the author


Started Puget Sound Solar in 2001 with 30 years of construction contracting experience, and a desire to turn Seattle on to solar energy. Achieving NABCEP certification in 2004, Jeremy believes that our customers often follow a path similar to the one he took, starting out with solar daydreaming, then progressing to education on the subject, and eventually leading to action. In addition to leading the company he also does some teaching and speaking engagements about various aspects of solar energy, and experiments relentlessly with various solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicle projects.

Jeremy Smithson

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