A Seattle City Council committee Tuesday morning approved the massive 400-panel photovoltaic array that will sit atop E Madison’s Bullitt Center and provide 242 kilowatts of power to the building with enough left over to feed back into the Capitol Hill grid.
Because more than 4,000 square feet of the array will hang over the city-owned “right of way” along E Madison, 15th Ave and E Pike, the Council must approve the structure.
The diagram to the right shows the extent to which the array will hang over the sidewalk and street. A city staffer presenting on the array said the structure will not be “completely opaque” and that light and rain will be able to fall between the panels.
The full Council is expected to pass the resolution next Monday. An important piece of legislation will follow as the city determines how best to set fees for similar features in a way that properly compensates the community but also creates incentives for developers to add green and sustainable engineering to their plans.
The Bullitt Center broke ground last summer with plans to become “the greenest commercial building” in the world and is working toward a late 2012 completion. The University of Washington integrated design laboratory and Northwest headquarters of the Green Building Council are already slated to join the Bullitt Foundation in the low energy building.
Meanwhile, Tuesday night is the final public meeting to discuss the planned overhaul of the McGilvra Place Park that is being incorporated into the center’s plans and will receive a significant upgrade thanks to funds from the parks levy.