Solar Grant Program
Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings
Solar Energy grants provide competitive funding to install solar at public buildings and facilities, such as schools, hospitals, civic buildings and wastewater treatment plants. These grants cut energy costs, reduce pollution and showcase solar projects in communities across the state.
2022 Solar Awards
- City of Kent: $84,760 to install 65 kW at the Senior Activity Center.
- City of Medical Lake: $210,867 to install 104 kW at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks – Solid Waste Division: $64,291 to install 105 kW at Shoreline Recycling and Transfer Station.
- King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks – Solid Waste Division: $70,000 to install 97 kW at Bow Lake Transfer Station.
- Lummi Nation: $98,673 to install 72 kW at Lummi Tribal School.
- Palouse School District: $188,874 to install 103 kW at Palouse High School.
- Shoreline School District: $82,500 to install 124 kW at Syre Elementary School.
- Shoreline School District: $82,500 to install 145 kW at Shorewood High School.
- Shoreline School District: $82,500 to install 150 kW at Shorecrest High School.
- Silver Lake Water and Sewer District: $75,000 to install 135 kW at the water district headquarters.
- South Whidbey School District: $177,010 to install 100 kW at South Whidbey Elementary School.
- Spokane Public Schools: $76,072 to install 68 kW at Linwood Elementary School.
- Tumwater School District: $88,553 to install 78 kW at Black Hills High School.
- West Mason Fire: $54,570 to install 35 kW at West Mason Fire District 16.
Program documents for Solar 2022
Commerce is no longer accepting applications for 2022. These documents are provided for reference.
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
- Federally-recognized Tribal governments
- Non-governmental organizations are not eligible for this grant.
Grants will fund new solar photovoltaic systems net-metered with existing publicly-owned (including Tribally-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 certain priority communities will 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. These projects will also receive additional preference during selection. The priority communities will include:
- Rural: Projects not located in a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town, as defined by the USDA Rural Energy Pilot Program.
- Highly Impacted Communities: Projects located in a census district with a census tract with an overall rank of 9 or 10 on the Environmental Health Disparities V 1.1 tool created by Washington Department of Health, or any census tract with Tribal lands, as listed in the Environmental Health Disparities tool.
- Lower-income: Projects located in a city, county, or Tribal Area with an area median income less than 80% of State Median Income (currently $59,020), according to the American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Use the median income of the incorporated city in which the project is located, or the county if the project is located outside of an incorporated city. Tribes may instead use the median income of Tribal Areas (Reservations and Off-Reservation Trust Lands), as defined in the American Community Survey, for projects that are located in these areas.
- Tribal communities: Projects of federally recognized Tribal governments.
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 calculated 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 or inverters manufactured in Washington.
- Projects with lower cost per watt.
- Projects in priority communities as described above in the eligible projects section.
- Projects that demonstrate community input and benefits.
Please sign up for email updates to receive RFA announcements and other updates about this program.
This program does not currently have additional funding available. Please sign up for email updates to hear about future funding opportunities.
- September 2022 awards press release
- Energy Savings Performance Contracting with Department of Enterprise Services
- Historic Review and Tribal Contact (21-02)
- Budget Proviso Governing this Program (PDF)
- Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings program history
- U.S. DOE Solar Power in your Community Guidebook (PDF)
- NREL Request for Proposal Template for Grid-Tied Solar Photovoltaic Systems for State, City, and Other Entities
Jill Eikenhorst, Solar Programs Supervisor
Jennifer Grove, Managing Director