Clean Energy Grant Programs

In response to valuable feedback from a Request for Information (RFI) issued in the fall 2023 and previous stakeholder input, the Energy Programs in Communities unit is implementing a new approach designed to reduce barriers for applicants, maximize the construction timeline for clean energy projects, and enhance equitable outcomes.

Through a combination of fund sources, approximately $167 million will be available for grants through three tailored application opportunities. The three solicitations will be the primary opportunity to apply for these funds. Funding amounts are estimated and are subject to legislative authority and fund balances.

Round 1: Tribal clean energy grants

Approximately $16 million will be available exclusively for federally recognized tribes and tribes’ contracted service providers to support the planning, design and construction of clean energy projects that promote sovereignty, advance resiliency and contribute to Washington’s decarbonization goals.

To address the varying levels of tribal staff capacity and readiness, applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis beginning in February 15, 2024. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted and Commerce will review applications and make awards at least twice.

Round 2: Community decarbonization grants

Approximately $67 million will be available to support planning, design and construction of clean energy projects that will improve health, resiliency and economic outcomes for communities that face inequitable risk from energy burden, pollution and other environmental factors. This opportunity is expected to open the week of mid-February 2024.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate that projects benefit overburdened communities and vulnerable populations by improving environmental health conditions, reducing energy inequities, or strengthening community resiliency.

Round 3: General solicitation for clean energy projects

Approximately $84 million will be available to support planning, design and construction of clean energy projects through a general round which will be open to eligible project types and applicants for all funding areas. This funding opportunity is expected to open in late spring 2024.

  • Eligible applicants (Draft)
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Local governments
    • Public and private educational institutions
    • State agencies
    • Retail electric utilities
    • For-profit businesses
    • Federally recognized tribes & tribes’ contracted services providers (Note: while tribes are eligible for this funding round, we highly encourage tribal applicants to apply under the Tribal Clean Energy Grants round, which will provide access to exclusive funding and is tailored for tribal applicants.)

How to Apply

The Energy Programs in Communities unit will publish a Request for Applications (RFA) for each funding opportunity when it opens. The RFA will outline eligibility guidelines, evaluation criteria, and instructions for applying. Commerce will hold pre-application conferences before applications are due for each funding round to answer questions, and questions will also be accepted by email (no phone calls).

Commerce will evaluate applications across all potential programs and match projects to the relevant funding source(s).

Community Participation in Grant making process

Commerce is partnering with the Department of Health to create a Community Advisory Committee which will review equity and environmental justice components of grant applications. This committee will include community members, especially those with lived experience or working relationships with marginalized communities impacted by environmental inequities. Applications for this committee have closed and we have received an overwhelming response, but please reach out to us at EPICgrants@commerce.wa.gov to express your interest for later opportunities.

 

 

Contact

EPICgrants@commerce.wa.gov

Jennifer Grove, EPIC Managing Director
Email: Jennifer.Grove@Commerce.wa.gov

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