Grid Modernization Program

Clean Energy Fund (CEF)

Applications are now closed for the new round of grant funding

Since 2013, state investments have encouraged public-private partnerships on a diverse range of projects, leading the way in electrical grid modernization. From different battery chemistry to thermal energy storage to microgrids and solar, Clean Energy Fund project data and business case analyses are transforming how utilities and communities view energy systems and resilience.

This program provides funding for Washington electric utilities for Grid Modernization projects that advance clean, renewable energy technologies and transmission and distribution control systems; support integration of renewable energy sources, deployment of distributed energy resources, and sustainable microgrids; or increase utility customer choice in energy sources, efficiency, equipment and utility services.

Commerce is currently evaluating applications for the new funding opportunity.
Following feedback received from program stakeholders during the Energy and Climate Policy Advisory Committee (ECPAC) process, and aligning with guidance from the Clean Energy Transformation Act and State Energy Strategy, this round of funding is designed to support earlier-stage Pre-Design and Design activities for future capital projects.

The solicitation includes both Clean Energy Fund 3 (CEF3) and Clean Energy Transition 4 (CET4) funding, with approximately $4.6 million available. In accordance with the CET4 budget proviso language, Commerce is prioritizing projects that benefit federally recognized Tribal governments, Tribal communities and vulnerable populations, and/or include a partnership with federally recognized Tribal governments or non-profit organizations serving Tribal communities or vulnerable populations.

Applications are now closed for the current round of funding.

Program Information:

Questions and Answers

CEF Project Highlight – OPALCO Decatur Island Microgrid

OPALCO’s Battery Storage Project was funded in part by a $1 million Grid Modernization grant from Commerce’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF). The microgrid OPALCO built on Decatur Island includes a battery storage project paired with a Community Solar Array. The battery storage project is a one-megawatt, 2.6 MWh large-scale battery that can operate independently from the grid and power approximately 500 homes for up to 4 hours. The goals of

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CEF Project Highlight – Horn Rapids Solar, Storage & Training Project in Richland

Funded in part by a $3 million grant from the Washington State Clean Energy Fund, Energy Northwest has powered up its Horn Rapids Solar, Storage & Training Project in Richland. This project provides Washington state its first opportunity to integrate a utility-scale solar and storage facility. The facility combines solar generation with battery storage and technician training. The 20-acre project provides 4 megawatts of direct-current electricity — enough energy to

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Past Funding

CLEAN ENERGY FUND 1 (CEF1) – $14.3 million in grants awarded to three electric utilities.
These projects focus on different batteries and energy storage systems. Projects selected to compare a wide range of use cases at locations within utility distribution systems. Multiple battery and software control technology providers provided components to deploy both Lithium-Ion and Vanadium Redox Flow systems.

CLEAN ENERGY FUND 2 (CEF2) – $12.5 million in grants awarded to five electric utilities.
Most of these projects include a focus on microgrids combining solar with storage, load controls, and other technologies, to provide resilience benefits in addition to use cases for battery energy storage that were demonstrated in CEF1. Projects are underway, and most are expected to finish construction in the first half of 2021.

CLEAN ENERGY FUND 3 (CEF3) – $ 7.6 million in grants awarded to three electric utilities.
Three performance-based grant contracts have been executed, one with Avista to deploy advanced thermal and electric storage and load control technology in Spokane Eco-District, one with Puget Sound Energy for a solar + storage microgrid near Tenino High School, and one with Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO), for a hybrid technology energy storage project in their service territory in the San Juans.

CEF Projects




  • Avista – Eco District (coming soon)
  • OPALCO – San Juan Hybrid Battery Energy Storage (coming soon)
  • Puget Sound Energy – Tenino Microgrid

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