Rural Clean Energy Innovation

Clean Energy Fund (CEF)

A herd of cows grazing near a solar power plant

The Rural Clean Energy Innovation Program marks a new opportunity for Commerce to support clean energy research, development, and implementation in Washington’s rural communities. Through Washington’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF), this program allocates $4.9 million to advance clean energy through a new grant program, carve outs for bioenergy and Tribal energy projects and a new workgroup. The program’s funding and different elements are broken down below.

Program Timeline

Work Group:

  1. Rural Clean Energy Working Group Scoping: June – Aug. 2021
  2. Rural Clean Energy Working Group Meetings: Oct. – Jan. 2022
  3. Final Strategic Plan and Legislative Report for Rural Clean Energy Investment Due: June 30, 2022

Rural Clean Energy Grants:

  1. Dairy Digester Enhancement Grant Program Application Open: early spring 2022
  2. Rural Clean Energy Grant Applications Open: spring 2023
Rural Clean Energy timeline

*Click on image to enlarge

This program allocates $150,000 towards developing a strategic plan for Washington’s rural clean energy investment. The program creates a Rural Clean Energy Working Group that will meet to identify programs, investments and policy changes that will inform the plan’s goal of advancing rural clean energy access and availability. The working group must submit the strategic plan to the appropriate bodies, including the Governor and Office of Financial Management, by June 30, 2022.

Over the course of the next few months, the Commerce will post materials and resources that come out of the work group meetings. Commerce presentations for each Work Group meeting will be recorded and posted to the website.

Public comment request

We will be collecting public comments in parallel with the workgroup meetings. Please fill out the form linked below from the perspective of your organization or community. The comment period will close on Jan. 23, 2022.

Meeting 2

Meeting 1

Program Background

Save the Date: In spring 2023, Commerce will accept applications for Rural Clean Energy Innovation grants. Grants will support rural communities in advancing a sustainable future. Approximately $4.6 million in funding will be available for Washington-based entities pursuing rural clean energy projects.

As part of Washington State’s Clean Energy Fund, this program will support clean energy research, development and implementation in Washington’s rural communities.

Of the $4.6 million allocated towards this fund, 40% is allocated to dairy digester bioenergy projects that produce renewable natural gas, biofertilizers, reduce emissions and improve soil, air and water quality. 20% is allocated to tribal governments, designated subdivisions and agencies. The remaining grant funds are available for any projects supporting rural clean energy such as those advancing energy efficiency, resilience, sequestration, as well as research and development.

Solicitation Resources

As more information on the Rural Clean Energy Innovation Grant Program application process becomes available, it will be posted here. If you are interested in receiving updates directly to your inbox, please sign up for email updates here. Any other questions should be directed to CEF@commerce.wa.gov.

Additional information about the Clean Energy Fund and the Rural Clean Energy Fund can be found here.

Additional Resources

Sign up for Email Updates

Rural Clean Energy Innovation Updates
Sign up for updates via e-mail from the State Energy Office.