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

Public Comment Form

The comment period closed on March 18.

Rural Clean Energy Grants

  1. Dairy Digester Enhancement Grant Program Application Open: (tentative) fall 2022
  2. Rural Clean Energy Grant Applications Open: (tentative) fall 2022
Rural Clean Energy timeline graphic_1-28-2022

*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.

Meeting 1

Meeting 2

Program Background

Approximately $4.6 million is available for projects supporting rural clean energy. This funding is tentatively set to be divided into at least two distinct grant opportunities: Dairy Digester Bioenergy Grants and Rural Clean Energy Innovation Grants, which are tentatively set to open fall 2022.

The Dairy Digester Bioenergy Program provides funding for projects that enhance the viability of dairy digesters.

The Rural Clean Energy Innovation Grants solicitation is open to Washington-based entities pursuing rural clean energy projects. Approximately 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 and sequestration.

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. Any other questions should be directed to

Find additional information about the Clean Energy Fund and the Rural Clean Energy Fund here. (pdf)

Commerce will be accepting grant applications in fall 2022 from applicants that own, operate and/or service anaerobic digesters located at dairies in Washington state. Approximately $1,843,000 will be available under a competitive application process.

The Dairy Digester Bioenergy Program provides funding for projects that enhance the viability of dairy digester bioenergy projects. This includes nutrient management systems that produce renewable natural gas and value-added biofertilizers, generate electricity and heat, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve soil health and air and water quality.

Application materials including the RFA, the application documents and required forms will be available here closer to the launch date.

Program Background

  • The Dairy Digester Bioenergy Program is part of the Rural Clean Energy Innovation Program under Clean Energy Fund 5, which appears in Subsection 14 of Section 1064 of Substitute House Bill 1080 (2021-23 biennial Capital Budget).
  • The Rural Clean Energy Program allocates $4.9 million towards a rural energy work group and a new rural clean energy grant program with carve outs for dairy digester bioenergy grants and Tribal energy projects.
  • The grant program will be divided into at least into at least two separate funding opportunities: Dairy Digester Bioenergy Grants and Rural Clean Energy Innovation Grants.

Previous Grants

Clean Energy Fund 4 Dairy Digester Enhancement Program

In May 2020 Commerce announced $970,000 in grants from Clean Energy Fund 4 (2019-21 biennial Capital Budget) through a competitive application process.

  • Awards included at least one project east of the Cascades and one project west of the Cascades.
  • Four projects were funded to improve energy efficiency in operations and the marketing of biogas, nutrients, fiber and other co-products of the digesters.
  • All of the grants had to be matched at least dollar-for-dollar with other sources of non-state funding.


  • DeRuyter Dairies (Outlook, Yakima County): $164,145 to convert the DeRuyter Dairies from flush to flush flume to greatly reduce the volume of water mixed with manure and improve digester capacity, efficiency, and biogas production, as well as recovery of nutrients and fiber.
  • Edaleen Cow Power (Lynden, Whatcom County): $300,000 to acquire new equipment (hydrogen sulfide scrubber) and infrastructure (new manure pipeline) at Edaleen Cow Power (ECP) to complete a new long-term offtake agreement and associated business plan. This plan can provide ECP and potentially other existing and new projects with higher-value power purchase agreements when the power for used for electric vehicles.
  • FPE Renewables (Mt. Vernon, Skagit County): $300,000 to purchase and install a 10-20 wet ton/hour food residuals de-packaging system at a permitted material recovery and recycling facility for production and delivery of a new slurry feedstock stream for the FPE Renewables on-farm anaerobic digester, as well as other partnering digesters in Western Washington.
  • Organix, Inc. (Outlook, Yakima County): $205,855 for a comprehensive pilot study to investigate the potential benefits of processing anaerobic digester effluent using the BioFiltro BIDA System. This system is anticipated to improve air quality by mitigating noxious odors and reducing greenhouse gases and clean water for reuse in the dairy flush system.

Additional Resources

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Rural Clean Energy Innovation Updates
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