Grid Formula Funding Application Narrative: Sections for Public Review and Comment
Public Hearing Meeting Information
Attend: February 22, 2023 Grid Formula Funding Grant – Public Comment Webinar (on Zoom)
Time: Feb 22, 2023 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Public Comments due by March 7, 2023; 11:59 P.M., PST
Email comments to Deborah.Witmer@commerce.wa.gov.
A. Eligible Entities
Eligible entities for subawards from Washington State Department of Commerce under this Program include:
- Electric grid operators
- Electricity storage operators
- Electricity generators
- Transmission owners or operators
- Distribution providers
- Fuel suppliers
Washington State will ensure that the percentage of program funds made available to eligible entities that sell not more than 4,000,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year is not less than the percentage of all customers in the State that are served by those eligible entities. Washington State has determined that approximately 18.65% of program funds shall be set aside for such eligible entities, at minimum.
B. Awards Provided to Eligible Entities
● Washington State intends to provide all awards to eligible entities, as defined in Section 2B, for projects within the State.
● Applicants must also be licensed to do business in the State of Washington or submit a statement of commitment that it will become licensed in Washington within thirty (30) calendar days of being selected.
A. Methods for Soliciting, Awarding, and Distributing Funds
- Washington State has appointed the Washington State Department of Commerce as the sole entity within the State to apply for, receive, and administer State funding under Section 40101(d) of the IIJA. The department will work closely with the Utilities and Transportation Commission and Governor’s office to develop and administer the program.
- The grant program will be administered by the Department of Commerce’s Energy Division, which currently administers the Clean Energy Fund (CEF) , using its existing authorities and processes for soliciting, awarding, and distributing funds. As discussed in Section 6 below, the Department of Commerce will use the full amount of the allowable five percent of funds for program administration. The department will request further budget from the state for technical assistance to support vulnerable populations and overburdened communities.
- The Department of Commerce will solicit and award the funds through a competitive solicitation process. The competitive solicitation process will build on the methods of programs such as the CEF’s Grid Modernization Program , which has solicited and awarded close to $40 million to utility projects since 2013.
3. Funding Distribution
A. Proposed Funding Distribution
- Washington State proposes to distribute 100% of the funding to a new Washington Grid Resilience Program managed by the Department of Commerce.
- The Washington Grid Resilience Program will provide support for a subsection of eligible infrastructure investments based on responses from eligible entities to a state RFI.
- As described in Section 6, 5% of the funds will be used by the Department of Commerce for Program Administration. The Table below provides the breakdown of these fund distributions.
Funding Category and $ Amount
- Grid Resilience Formula Program – $11,139,865
- Program Administration – $586,300
B. Categories of Recipients of the Subgrants to be Provided to Eligible Entities
- Washington State proposes to distribute the total funding amount (100%) to Retail Electric Utilities. Retail Electric Utilities are defined as any electrical company, public utility district, irrigation district, port district, electric cooperative, or municipal electric utility that is engaged in the business of distributing electricity to retail electric customers in the state.
- Washington State will dedicate a minimum of 20% of funds each year for awards to “small utilities” (utilities that sell not more than 4,000,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year).
- In the first year of the Program, Washington State intends to award the majority of funds to small utilities either through program eligibility requirements or through scoring criteria.
- The State intends to dedicate at least 40% of program funds to historically disadvantaged communities, and will encourage projects distributed around the state in order to ensure balanced community participation and benefits.
- The State plans to prioritize first time applications to the program, and may consider program designs such as limiting the number of applications that may be submitted per utility, limiting the size of individual awards, and other factors.