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One of the challenges with solar power in Seattle — in addition to the abundance of gray skies — is that many people live in apartments and condos where they don’t have the ability to install panels on their roofs.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn today announced a new effort to allow residents of the Beacon Hill neighborhood to buy into a program that would allow some residents to access solar energy generated by panels affixed to the top of picnic shelters in a city park.

The program will allow up to 500 people to buy portions of the array’s electrical output through June 2020 for $600 per portion, the Mayor’s office said.

“Renewable energy sources like solar provide the opportunity to reduce our impact on the environment and protect the quality of life in our community,” Mayor Mike McGinn said. “This is an important step to make solar power more accessible and I commend City Light and Parks for making this sustainable energy option available to our residents.”

The $300,000 project is being paid for by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to City Light and Northwest SEED. It is part of the Beacon Mountain project, a new park set to be finished early next year.

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