Climate Commitment Act dollars at work: Commerce awards $7.5 million to five tribes for clean energy projects

Commerce Director Mike Fong with representatives from the Spokane Tribe of Indians and Commerce employees.

Commerce Director Mike Fong visited the Spokane Tribe of Indians on May 24. The Spokane Tribe was awarded funding to repurpose their historic uranium mine for solar energy generation.

Grants support innovative solar and wave energy projects, advance state goals on environmental justice and equity

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Commerce this week announced $7.5 million in grants to five tribes in Washington to plan, design and build clean energy projects. Funded by Washington’s Climate Commitment Act, these clean energy grants through Commerce are part of an $83 million opportunity that includes $16 million for a targeted tribal clean energy fund and $67 million for projects that advance environmental justice and equity.

“The Climate Commitment Act recognizes that communities will not feel the effects of climate change equally,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “We know that there is a history of government assuming it knows best when it comes to what communities need, and we’re intentionally reversing that thought process. We hope this is the first of many funding opportunities that responds directly to what people tell us they need.”

Fong noted that tribes within Washington have unique and personal visions for how they can achieve a more equitable climate future. He visited the Spokane Tribe of Indians, one of the recipients, on May 24, in part to announce the award. Recipients are located on both sides of the Cascades.

“This is a great opportunity for the Chehalis Tribe and the Department of Commerce to work together on the common goal of reducing our carbon footprint within Washington state,” said Tribal Chairman Dustin Klatush. The tribe was awarded $251,000 to build a solar installation at its community center. “The tribe’s use of solar panels at our Community Center will bring immediate results toward that goal while embarking on a feasibility study to develop additional strategies for the future. This award is truly a win-win.”

The awardees are:

  • Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation — Community Center Solar Panels, Oakville: $251,000 to build a 121 kW roof-mounted solar installation for the tribe’s Community Center and to complete a feasibility study to add future battery storage at the center.
  • Cowlitz Indian Tribe — Resilient Energy and Supplemental Power Project Phase II, Longview: $1.7 million to build a 100 kW solar array and battery energy storage system on administrative and clinic buildings to power the buildings and provide supplemental power for electric vehicle charging.
  • Spokane Tribe of Indians — Western Nuclear Solar Farm Project, Wellpinit: $90,000 to evaluate the viability of repurposing the tribe’s historic uranium mine for solar energy generation.
  • Willapa Bay Enterprises — Renewable Ocean Wave Energy Technology Demonstration Project, Tokeland: $2,744,507 to support the design, permitting, siting and construction of technology that produces zero emission hydrogen from ocean wave energy.
  • Yakama Power – Solar Over Canal Project, Toppenish: $2.75 million to support permitting, environmental review and predevelopment work for an innovative 200 MW solar over canal project that leverages $160 million in federal and state funding.

The Tribal Clean Energy Grant Program continues to accept applications through September 27. Applications received by July 19 will be announced in August, and applications received by the final deadline will be announced in October.

More information on this opportunity and future funding rounds is available online.

More clean energy funding available

Commerce will announce the second round of Community Decarbonization grants in the coming weeks. Applications are still being accepted for a general solicitation for clean energy projects, which is open to projects and applicant types from all over the state. Applications for these grants close June 14.

Climate Commitment Act LogoAll three funding opportunity are funded by Washington’s Climate Commitment Act (CCA). The CCA supports Washington’s climate action efforts by putting cap-and-invest dollars to work reducing climate pollution, creating jobs, and improving public health. Information about the CCA is available at www.climate.wa.gov.

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Contact:               Amelia Lamb, Commerce Communications, (360)-995-3386

 

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