A wide mix of projects are funded by Clean Energy Fund grants. These grants support the development, demonstration and deployment of clean energy technology. This year the Governor signed the capital budget bill, which included funding for the Clean Energy Fund (CEF) program. This program started in 2013, was invested again in 2016 and this year.

We are currently working on program development for this round of Clean Energy Fund grants. We will post information on this page for the guidelines and dates for application periods on each program. 

Clean energy
Clean Energy

Clean Energy Fund Highlights

Grid Modernization Program

Open application announcement is anticipated in summer 2018.

– $11 million

This program is for public and private electrical utilities serving Washington customers. Utilities can partner with other public and private sector research organizations and businesses to apply for funding. 

Projects should: 

  • Advance clean and renewable energy technologies
  • Improve transmission and distribution control systems
  • Support integration of renewable energy sources
  • Use distributed energy resources and sustainable microgrids
  • Increase utility customer options for energy sources, energy efficiency, energy equipment and utility services. 

Solar Deployment Program

Open application announcement is anticipated in late 2018.

– $4 million

This program in the CEF portfolio is focused on the deployment of solar projects in Washington State. 

Based on legislation, priority will be given to distribution side projects that reduce peak demand. Projects must be capable of generating at least 500 kilowatts of direct current. At least 25 percent of the total allocation of a project shall be provided solely for projects that provide direct benefits to low-income residents or communities. We will strive to prioritize an equal geographic distribution.

Research, Development and Demonstration Program

Open application announcement is anticipated in summer 2018.

 – $7.85 million

This program is to provide match for federal and non-state funds for strategic research and development projects on new and emerging technologies.

Project focus areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • solar technology
  • advance bioenergy and biofuels
  • development of new earth abundant or lightweight materials
  • advance energy storage
  • battery component recycling
  • new renewable energy technology
  • new energy efficiency technologies


Electrification of Transportation Program

Open application announcement is anticipated in late 2018

– $9 million

This program will offer funding for Washington state local governments and public or private electrical utilities.

They can partner with other public and private sector research organizations and businesses to transform our transportation systems. 

Eligible technologies include, but not limited to:

  • Electric vehicle and transportation system charging.
  • Open source control infrastructure.
  • Inductive charging systems.
  • Electric vehicle sharing in low-income, multi-unit housing communities in urban areas.
  • Grid-related vehicle electrification.
  • Connecting vehicle fleets to grid operations..
  • Electric vehicle fleet management tools with open source software.
  • Maritime electrification.

NEW - Revolving Loan Fund

As part of the 2018 capital budget bill, the legislature reappropriated funds to do a new round of funding for the revolving loan fund. It is specifically for:

  • Support of widespread use of proven energy efficiency
  • Support of widespread use of renewable energy
  • transportation electrification technologies, which include:
  • electric vehicle charging infrastructure and equipment for cars, trucks, and buses
  • Upgrades to facilitate such as equipment and infrastructure
  • Acquisition of zero-emission buses and class 4-8 vehicles

More information to come soon.

Previous Clean Energy Fund Programs

Grants to Nonprofit Lenders

Revolving Loan Fund grants show that a modest public investment can promote private investment. This drives economic activity and jobs for Washingtonians and helps our state lead the nation in energy efficiency.

From previous funding rounds, our nonprofit partners Craft3, Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union and the Housing Finance Commission offer revolving loans that provide loans for homeowners and commercial building owners who want to install renewable energy systems and efficiency upgrades.

Previous Grants for Research and Development

These funds help Washington state clean energy technology research, development and demonstration projects bring in new grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy and other non-state sources. 

Current investments include recycling scrap carbon fiber from aerospace manufacturing, ocean energy research equipment and demand-response power systems on university campuses.

The RD&D program is not open for applications at this time.

Previous Grants to Electric Utilities

Demonstration of energy storage and control technologies position Washington State companies as leaders in grid modernization, an important emerging worldwide market sector. 

Since 2013, the state has invested $14.3 million in smart grid projects that represent more than $35 million in total investment by our state’s largest electric utilities.

Soon we’ll push further on distributed power, with new advances in technology, resiliency and reliability. We are at the front of entirely new systems and business models for delivering electricity.

Watch a video on PSE’s Glacier battery storage project.

Renewable Energy Manufacturing

This program in the Clean Energy Fund is a combination of financing targeting advanced solar and renewable energy manufacturing facilities in Washington State.

Commerce is partnered with the Washington Economic Development Finance Authority (WEDFA). Economic Development Bonds, issued and sold by WEDFA, are financed with loans made by private lenders to the owners of the facilities financed with the bonds. . Only projects approved by WEDFA for these bonds are eligible for the interest rate reimbursement.

Learn more about renewable energy manufacturing.