Solar Grant Program

Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings

Solar Grants provide competitive funding to install solar at public buildings and facilities, such as schools, hospitals, civic buildings, and wastewater treatment plants. Solar Grants cut energy costs, reduce pollution, and showcase solar projects in communities across the state.

Join a listening session for Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings

The Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings program will launch Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants in early 2022, and we are seeking community input and suggestions as we develop these programs.

Please join us for a listening session to provide your input:

  • Thursday Dec 2, 10:30am to noon – This session is full, please register for a different session.
  • Monday, Dec 6, 3:30pm to 5pm – Register here
  • Wednesday, Dec 8, 10:30am to noon – Register here

The Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings program provides grant funding for public entities such as towns, cities, Tribes and public agencies to make energy updates to public buildings and facilities. These retrofits save money and reduce pollution for schools, hospitals, community centers and other public buildings.

At the listening session we hope to learn about the varying needs of communities in Washington, the diversity of community goals and particular barriers you face in being able to access these grants. The session will also include examples of eligible projects and steps to take in advance of the next application period. This session is not required to apply for the upcoming grant, and future sessions will discuss program details.

Can’t make the session? Email us at energyretrofits@commerce.wa.gov to share your thoughts.

Applications Now in Review

Commerce has accepted applications for the 2021 Solar Grants with up to $3,465,810 available. Applications were due on Aug. 19, 2021. The next round of funding is expected to launch in early 2022.

Pre-application Virtual Meetings

Two pre-application meetings were recorded and posted online, and any questions posed during sessions are in the written Q&A.

Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be public entities in the state of Washington, such as:

  • Local agencies, including any city, town, county, special district, municipal corporation, agency, port district or authority, or political subdivision of any type, or any other entity or authority of local government in corporate form or otherwise.
  • Public higher education institutions
  • K-12 public school districts
  • State agencies
  • Now eligible: Federally-recognized Tribal governments

Eligible Projects

Grants will fund new solar photovoltaic systems net-metered with existing publicly-owned buildings or facilities in Washington. Projects must be between 20 kW AC and 100 kW AC and must provide 50% of the total project cost from other, non-state sources. Total project cost for this purpose excludes any contingency funds.

Projects located in Small Cities and Towns (population under 5,000) and projects for Tribal Governments have different requirements: the minimum project size is 10kW AC, and the minimum match requirement is 33% of the total project cost, excluding any contingency funds.

Preferred Projects

Projects which meet these criteria will receive higher scores, but a project is still eligible to apply to this grant if it does not meet some or all of these criteria:

  • Projects with shorter simple payback period
  • Projects that provide more funding from other sources, above the minimum requirements
  • Applicant has not received funding for solar from this program previously
  • Projects that use modules and inverters manufactured in Washington
  • Projects with lower cost per watt

Key Dates

  • June 24 – Aug. 6: Questions accepted by email and Q&A posted online periodically
  • July 1: First virtual pre-application meeting (optional)
  • July 14: Second virtual pre-application meeting (optional)
  • Aug. 19: Applications Due by 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 2021: Awards Announced

2018 Awards

  • City of Colville: $236,577
  • City of Granger: $135,394
  • City of Pullman: $169,784
  • City of Sequim: $75,000
  • Franklin Pierce School District: $65,643
  • King County – Enumclaw: $164,028
  • King County – Vashon: $185,972.00
  • Town of Fairfield: $249,556
  • Town of Friday Harbor: $217,568
  • Tumwater School District: $70,705

Quick Links

Additional Resources

Need Help?

Questions?

Send an email to:
energyretrofits@commerce.wa.gov

Program Manager

Jill Eikenhorst
energyretrofits@commerce.wa.gov
360-522-0000

Managing Director

Jennifer Grove
jennifer.grove@commerce.wa.gov
360-763-2213

Sign up for Email Updates


Email Updates
To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.