Clean Energy Fund grants enable a mix of projects. They support the development, demonstration and deployment of clean energy technologies. The projects save energy, reduce energy costs, reduce harmful air emissions and increase the energy independence for our state. Clean Energy Fund investments help develop new businesses and jobs and strengthen communities across the state.
In 2013, the Washington State Legislature appropriated $76 million for the Clean Energy Fund. In 2016, they approved over $100 million in funds to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency development and deployment.
Project Profiles and Case Studies
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.
Our nonprofit partners Craft3 (website), Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (website) and the Housing Finance Commission (website) offer revolving loan funds that provide access to capital for homeowners and commercial building owners who want to install renewable energy systems and efficiency upgrades.
Grants for Research and Development
These funds are designed to 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.
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 the envelope further on distributed power, with potentially game-changing advances in technology, resiliency and reliability. We are on the forefront of entirely new systems and business models for delivering electricity.
Renewable Energy Manufacturing
This program in the Clean Energy Fund is a unique combination of financing opportunities targeted to advanced solar and renewable energy manufacturing facilities in Washington State. Commerce 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. Borrowers may be reimbursed for up to 80% of the interest payments they make on their qualifying loan. Only projects approved by WEDFA for these bonds are eligible for the interest rate reimbursement.