Derek White is the owner of Northwest Electric and Solar, which moved to Kenmore from Seattle in January. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Derek White is the owner of Northwest Electric and Solar, which moved to Kenmore from Seattle in January. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Solar business moves in to Kenmore

Northwest Electric and Solar is open for business in Kenmore following a move from Seattle.

Moving east has been a goal of Northwest Electric and Solar owner Derek White for a while now, and in January, he finally took the plunge.

White and around 40 employees provide electrical and solar panel installation services in the greater Seattle area, but living in Bothell and having grown up in Kirkland, White was looking for a chance to move closer to home. His new Kenmore location on 73rd Avenue Northeast just north of Northeast Bothell Way is outfitted with solar panels on the roof, which White said offset the his power costs.

“Just decided to get closer to the Eastside,” White said about the move.

White started an electrical apprenticeship around 16 years ago and has worked for large power providers such as Seattle City Light before striking out on his own. When he opened his business, he said many people in the industry weren’t paying attention to solar power. This has changed in recent years.

“People are starting to get more of an idea that this actually works,” he said.

While the perception that the Pacific Northwest can’t support solar power exists, White said he regularly zeroes out his home power bill thanks to panels installed at home. Local utilities can pay up to $5,000 annually to customers who are putting more power into the local grid than they consume.

A lack of sun during dark northwest winters is often offset by lots of sunshine the rest of the year. Large solar farms have been proposed in Thurston County by TransAlta and in eastern Washington near Lind by Strata Solar.

White said interest from residents and small businesses have been picking up in recent years. The average cost for a basic solar setup runs around $15,000, which usually pays for itself after four to seven years.

Washington state residents also benefit from recovery cost incentives, sales tax exemptions and other kickbacks approved by the state legislature and federal government to help promote solar use.

Emerging technology can also be useful to residents, White said. On top of general electrical work and installing solar panels, the business is certified to install Tesla batteries, which store enough power to rival generators as backup options.

“Things have been getting more efficient over the years,” White said.

One such battery hangs on the wall of his office’s common area in a sleek white casing.

Northwest Electric and Solar additionally installs around 25 electric car charges each week and offers free charging onsite. Two cars were parked and charging outside the business on a recent afternoon.

“It’s a fun industry to be in,” White said.

Northwest Electric and Solar is located at 18001 73rd Avenue Northeast in Kenmore.

More in Business

The Bothell-Kenmore Chamber of Commerce, community members and staff members gathered to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony for Dr. Eugenia Lee, outside Kenmore Dental Care on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
Dr. Eugenia Lee takes over Kenmore orthodontics practice

Chamber of Commerce holds ribbon cutting ceremony for Lee Orthodontics on Nov 13.

‘This might have been a once in a generation opportunity’: Kenmore’s Lakepointe deal grinds to a halt

City officials unsure of what comes next for the more than 50 acre industrial site.

Jersey Mike’s opens in Bothell

The sandwich shop is holding a grand opening and free sandwich fundraiser from Nov. 14-18 to support the Northshore Schools Foundation.

Lakepointe is a 52-acre industrial site at the mouth of the Sammamish River and Lake Washington which the city of Kenmore has been hoping to see developed for nearly three decades. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Kenmore’s Lakepointe development talks collapse

A representative of the potential developer said it may be close to being dead.

Main Street in downtown Bothell reopened after a fire and construction in April. Evan Pappas/staff photo
Bothell Main Street business bouncing back after construction

After a fire and construction slowed business, many merchants are seeing people return.

Office space is still tight on the Eastside

That hasn’t stopped Google and Facebook from looking to expand.

Kenmore Council adopts plastic bag ordinance

The Kenmore City Council adopted a new plastic bag policy effective January… Continue reading

Bothell City Hall. File photo
Developers miss deadline to salvage Bothell hotel project

The city council set a deadline of July 20 for Bothell Hotels LLC to submit a new plan.

Developers miss deadline to salvage Bothell hotel project

The city council set a deadline of July 20 for Bothell Hotels LLC to submit a new plan.

Select Gourmet Foods hopes to reopen by summer’s end

The butcher’s shop took damage from a fire last August but the owners are hoping to make a comeback.

Guest House gives Kenmore locals another eatery option

The restaurant is located just north of St. Edward State Park in south Kenmore.

Bothell chamber of commerce changes name to include Kenmore

The Bothell chamber of commerce has been re-branded to include its neighboring… Continue reading