$3.7 million will be coming for solar installations benefiting low-income communities, and Grays Harbor was highlighted.
The Washington State Department of Commerce announced on Thursday $3.7 million in grants for nine solar energy projects across the state. The projects will result in a total $6.1 million reduction in the energy burden of low-income households and nonprofits serving low-income communities over 25 years.
The Low-Income Solar Deployment Program is part of Washington’s Clean Energy Fund, established in 2013.
These grants will result in 2.8 megawatts (MW) of nameplate generation from new solar installations — enough solar power to serve about 322 average households per year or over 12 million electric vehicle miles.
“Low-income households pay a disproportionately higher portion of income for energy bills, and often are also in locations more likely to be impacted by the effects of harmful carbon emissions and climate change, such as poor air quality,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “These projects will lower the energy burden of low-income communities while increasing renewable energy generation on the electric grid, both important steps toward achieving energy equity across Washington state.”
From a pool of 12 applicants requesting a total of $4.8 million, the projects awarded funding are:
“OPALCO is honored to be awarded funds from the CEF3 Low-Income Solar Deployment Program,” said Foster Hildreth OPALCO’s General Manager. “This grant will give us an opportunity to address equity in our island communities by dedicating a substantial amount of the solar production to benefit households of low and medium income through OPALCO’s energy assistance programs and support low-income service providers that offer a safety net for our most vulnerable co-op members.”
All grant funds are contingent upon execution of final project contracts with Commerce. The selection process prioritized equity, including a requirement that each project must lower the energy burden of one or more low-income households, either directly or through a nonprofit service provider.
Washington’s Clean Energy Fund supports research, development and deployment of clean energy technologies, smart grid innovation, energy efficiency and more. To date, the fund has invested more than $131 million in transformative projects and clean energy job creation around the state.
Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) sets Washington on the pathway to carbon-neutral electricity by 2030 and 100 percent clean electricity by 2045.
To learn more, visit Commerce’s Low-Income Community Solar Deployment webpage. Read about other Clean Energy Fund grants here or contact [email protected]