Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings – Solar Grants Program now accepting applications for new round of funding

Source: Washington Department of Commerce, June 24, 2021

Commerce is now accepting applications for a competitive grant with up to $3,465,810 available through the Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings – Solar Grants Program.

Solar Grants provide competitive funding to install solar at existing public buildings and facilities such as schools, hospitals, civic buildings and wastewater treatment plants. Funded projects cut energy costs, reduce pollution and showcase solar in communities across the state. For the first time, these grants are now available to federally-recognized Tribal governments, in addition to other local governments and state agencies.

Washington’s 2021 State Energy Strategy identifies community-deployed solar as an important strategy for achieving clean energy and equity goals, especially for Tribal communities and agricultural communities. The strategy also urges state and local agencies to lead by example with clean energy investments for public buildings that build local resilience. The solar grant program supports communities in achieving these goals.

Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be public entities in the state of Washington, such as local governments, public higher education institutions, K-12 public school districts, state agencies and federally recognized Tribal governments.

Eligible Projects

Grants will fund new solar photovoltaic systems net metered with existing publicly-owned buildings or facilities in Washington. Projects must be between 20 kW and 100 kW, and must provide 50% of eligible costs from other, non-state sources.

To encourage diverse applicants, projects located in Small Cities and Towns (population under 5,000) and projects for Tribal governments have different requirements: Small Cities and Towns and Tribal governments projects must have a minimum project size of 10kW and the minimum match requirement is 33% of eligible costs.

Timeline and Next Steps

Key dates:

  • June 24-August 6: Questions accepted by email and Q&A posted online biweekly
  • July 1: First virtual pre-application meeting (optional)
  • July 14: Second virtual pre-application meeting (optional)
  • August 19: Applications due by 4pm
  • November 2021: Awards announced

Visit the webpage to register for a virtual pre-application meeting, find all application materials and for further information on minimum qualifications and program priorities.

Send questions to energyretrofits@commerce.wa.gov. No phone calls will be accepted.

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