$5.5 million in Climate Commitment Act funds awarded to Grays Harbor projects

The Washington State Department of Commerce announced $72.6 million for 71 grants for community clean energy projects across Washington. 

According to a release, the projects “advance environmental justice and equity”. 

The funding will benefit communities in 24 of Washington’s 39 counties through solar projects, hydrogen fueling, electricity microgrids, and more. 

Local funding includes $2.7 million for the City of McCleary, $542,000 for Grays Harbor College, $443,830 for the Oakville School District to install solar on existing buildings, and $1.7 million for the Woodsvilla Apartments in Elma for solar and battery storage.

No funding was allocated in Pacific County.

Funded by the Climate Commitment Act, the clean energy grants are part of a more than $117 million opportunity, which included $7.5 million for a tribal clean energy fund announced in May.

“This CCA funding is putting people to work on projects in communities most harmed by climate change and ultimately helping us provide cleaner air to all our children,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “The response to these grant programs is an exciting sign of how eager businesses and organizations are to design and build clean energy and climate resilient assets for their communities.”

“These awards get money into the hands of people who can immediately put it to use fighting climate change,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “These communities were empowered to use their own discretion to create projects that meet their needs, which will improve outcomes for everyone in Washington.”

The smallest award announced is $77,000 to support a feasibility study for municipal solar projects in Toledo, while the largest is $2.75 million for carbon-free fertilizer in Connell. The Connell project is in a low-income and mostly Spanish-speaking community, and it has an additional $9.25 million investment from the awardee.

Overall, projects vary from feasibility studies to microgrid development, installing solar panels paired with energy storage and facilitating greenhouse gas reductions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as industrial processes. Awardees include local governments, schools, nonprofits, private businesses, tribes and others. 

All of the projects had to include environmental justice angles — that is, they had to benefit the people most impacted by climate change, who are typically lower income and people of color.

More information about Clean Energy Grant Programs is available online. EPIC designs, develops, and implements initiatives that enable communities to be part of the clean energy transition.

Awards for a general clean energy solicitation will be announced later this summer.