The State of Washington’s Department of Commerce has announced plans for five new programs to finance cleantech efforts. In a webinar led by Department Director Brian Bonlender and Energy Office Director Tony Usibelli, the parameters of the programs were outlined.
The funds were authorized by the Legislature out of the State’s capital budget.
- Revolving Loan Funds Grants: This program will finance retrofits, wind energy, solar energy, digesters, and export assistance. Non-profit lenders will be selected to administer the program. The program will require a 1-1 match and loans must meet market criteria and the program will be funded with $15 million.
- Smart Grid Grants to Utilities: This program will be funded by $15 million and also require a 1-1 match. It will fund projects engaged in integration of renewable energy, energy dispatch, storage, thermal energy, and dealing with intermittence and reliability problems. Projects should involve moderate risk and be able to show results by the first half of 2015.
- Federal Grant Matching Funds: This program is funded with $6 million and is intended to fund demonstration projects that involve storage, solar, or carbon fiber technologies. WCTA members Battelle / Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Washington, and Washington State University will work with the Department of Commerce. State funding should be 50% or less.
- Returning Recovery Act Funds: $4 million is likely to be available in a revolving loan fund at the end of the current biennium.
- Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants for Public Buildings: $18 million will be available in fiscal year 2014 and $7 million in fiscal year 2015. Local agencies, higher education, and state agencies will be eligible. $5 million is intended for Washington-manufactured solar systems.