Three island homes featured in county solar tour

Half of the homes featured in the annual Kitsap County Solar Tour are on Bainbridge Island (surprise!).

For details about the tour on Saturday, see Chris Dunagan’s story below.

Six Homes Featured on Solar Tour
By Christopher Dunagan

Six solar-powered homes and an all-electric car will be featured Saturday during the annual Kitsap County Solar Tour.

The self-guided tour, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., provides a chance for people to see solar installations up close and talk to the homeowners who are taking advantage of the sun for a portion of their energy needs.

This year’s tour will feature a kickoff event at 10:15 a.m. at 11191 Valley Heights Circle on Bainbridge Island, where the plug-in electric car will be on display until noon. Local inventor Bob Fraik will answer questions about his car.

In addition, State Sen. Phil Rockefeller and Rep. Christine Rolfes, both Bainbridge Island Democrats, will give a brief talk on energy issues at the opening ceremony.

Solar technology is both reliable and practical, as people will observe on the tour, said Stan Brown of Sun Wind Concepts on Bainbridge Island. Solar energy is gaining momentum across the nation, as fossil fuels threaten the economy, environment and national security, he added.

The number of solar electric systems installed in Washington state has doubled each year for the past four years, said Jeff Randall of Power Trip Energy in Port Townsend. The federal “bailout package” just approved by Congress continues a tax credit that will pay for 30 percent of a solar installation, he said, adding that the legislation removes the previous $2,000 cap on residential systems.

On this year’s Kitsap County Solar Tour, participants will see examples of electrical solar panels, solar water heaters, passive solar heating and a variety of energy-saving ideas. Homes on the tour:

Valley Farm House, 11191 Valley Heights Circle, Bainbridge Island,

Douglass -Jenkner home, 15399 Sunrise Drive NE, Bainbridge Island,

O’Brien-Cunningham home, 1100 Donald Place NE, Bainbridge Island,

Pederson home, 19574 Noll Road NE, Poulsbo,

Robert Dash home, 20789 Kaya Lane NE, Indianola, and

Van Auken home, 13280 Banner Road SE.

For information and a map of the featured homes, go to