Puget Sound Energy has announced that it is expanding its renewable energy base, with the utility and its customers now accounting for 1,200kW of combined solar power generating capacity.

Already the largest utility producer of renewable energy in the northwest US by virtue of its two large wind farms in Washington state, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has finished building the main installation of the northwest’s largest solar-power generating facility at the company’s Wild Horse wind facility near Ellensburg, Washington.

Meanwhile, more and more PSE customers, with the utility’s help, are developing their own, on-site renewable-power generating systems. More than 200 PSE customers in nine western Washington counties are generating electricity from their own roofs and backyards, primarily with 700kW of solar system capacity. As participants in PSE’s net-metering program, these customers offset their utility bills and get future credit by feeding any excess electricity they produce back to PSE’s power grid.

Kimberly Harris, executive vice president and chief resource officer of PSE, said: Our customers’ interest and investments in the environment demonstrate the region’s commitment to renewable resources.