It's beginning to look a lot like solar
December 19, 2013

It’s a chilly December day in Olympia, Washington, but the sun is streaming into my dining room as I wrap up my final few tasks before the holiday break.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about coal over the last few years as the director of the Power Past Coal campaign.  Both of my grandfathers spent day after day below the ground mining coal in the Illinois Basin. Proud as I am of my heritage, I can’t help but wish they had had a life working above ground perhaps mining energy from the sun. 

Feeling the heat of the rays today, I am excited about those made in Washington solar panels that will be on top of my home soon.

Beth - Solar

One day about a year ago, my former colleague Rhys Roth came bounding into the office with his typical infectious excitement, raving about the benefits of installing solar. He got the best of me. “Now is the time,” he told me. “Lots of tax incentives and really – it’s just the right thing to do.”

South Sound SolarSo, my husband and I called South Sound Solar. South Sound Solar located in Thurston County is a locally-owned business that has been installing systems since 2007. We weren’t exactly the easiest customers in the world, but staff were always pleasant and able to provide us with clear documentation. 

ITEK logoTax incentives increase if you choose locally made solar panels in Washington.  Makes sense that we would support our state’s economy while reducing the carbon footprint of transporting the solar panels to our home and save money.  So ITEK panels it is!  ITEK is located in Whatcom County and now employs 35 people. 

Generations Credit UnionThe final step is financing. Generations Credit Union happened to have a great deal on loans for solar and again were super helpful in my quest to harvest the sun rays on my roof. 

So for a little more than $200 a month for the next few years, South Sound Solar is going to install 10 ITEK 250 Watt Panels with Theia 2.0 Inverter and I am going to have a 2500 Watt System on top of my house!

The only catch – South Sound Solar is so busy, I have to wait until FEBRUARY!  In fact, it appears that solar installers across the country are very busy these days.  U.S. solar installations continue to increase exponentially year over year. A recent study calculated that a new solar energy system is installed in the U.S. every 4 minutes, or at a rate of about 360 systems per day.  Soon I will be part of that statistic. 

Making something happen that is part of the solution is refreshing, especially when I’ve spent so much of my time fighting the behemoth fossil fuel industry standing in the way of a cleaner, healthier future. After all, it’s just the right thing to do.

Connect with Climate Solutions

Author Bio

Beth Doglio

Senior Consultant, Climate Solutions

Beth Doglio is a former State Representative, community organizer, climate justice leader, and mother of two.

Serving in the Legislature from 2017 - 2021, Beth was one of Washington’s foremost leaders on clean energy and climate, housing and issues facing working families. She helped lead the passage of groundbreaking legislation to empower workers through higher wages and improved protections; to make Washington a leader in the fight against climate change; and to provide more resources to address homelessness.

As Vice Chair of the Capital Budget committee, she helped secure millions in funding for infrastructure projects, land preservation and recreation, housing, and clean energy. She also served on Transportation, Energy and Environment, Labor and Workforce Standards and the Technology and Economic Development Committees.

She is currently serving as the Vice-Chair of Quixote Communities, a non-profit providing housing units with a focus on Veterans and is a current member and co-founder of Win With Women, dedicated to electing progressive women to the state legislature. She is the Board Chair of the PARC (Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture) Foundation and a board member of her local YMCA.

After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Political Science and Telecommunications, Beth moved to Washington state in 1987.

Beth’s environmental leadership in our state began three decades ago as the founding Executive Director of Washington Conservation Voters (WCV). Under Beth’s leadership, WCV became one of the state’s most prominent environmental organizations: developing 12 chapters, creating a robust voter education program, and playing a key role in shaping policy to protect Washington’s natural resources and environment.

Following her time at WCV, Beth worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) and Audubon Washington, where she continued to fight for progressive, environmental, and community priorities.

Beth was a staff member at Climate Solutions from 2007-2020 working to pass federal, state and local climate policy and serving as the director of the Power Past Coal campaign. She currently serves as a consultant primarily on housing and climate issues. She enjoys backpacking, mountain biking, yoga, canoeing, and good food and laughter.

Give for a brighter future

More On

Did you enjoy this article?