State grants $8.6 million for energy efficiency and solar projects

Grants will lower energy costs in public buildings and help fund an estimated 290 jobs

The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced more than $8.6 million in the second round of energy efficiency and solar grants to help five higher education institutions, 21 local governments and two state agencies lower energy costs.

Construction spending on these projects will help fund an estimated 290 jobs. The total cost for all the projects is about $30.5 million, including more than $21.8 million in non-state funds.

Last March, Commerce awarded $14 million to 45 public entities in the first round of grants, helping leverage an additional $35 million in non-state funds for energy saving and solar projects.

“When the places we work, study and do business are energy efficient, the benefits add up,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Our state government is leading by example with meaningful investments that create jobs and save taxpayer money by reducing energy use and operating costs in public facilities. This is also a key strategy to reducing our carbon footprint.”

The 2013 Legislature appropriated $25 million for energy efficiency and solar grants to higher education, local governments and state agencies, specifying at least $5 million for projects using Washington-manufactured systems, such as solar modules and inverters. It also targeted at least 10 percent of each competitive round for small cities or towns (populations of 5,000 or less).

“Moving to more energy-efficient publicly owned built buildings, and towards cleaner, renewable energy sources is good for the environment and good for our economy,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “These grants support the Governor’s comprehensive climate action agenda and help spur growth and employment in our clean energy and energy efficiency sectors.”

The 28 grants were awarded through a competitive process, and must be used solely for energy and operational cost savings and solar installations. The grants include almost $6.4 million for energy efficiency projects and more than $2.2 million for solar photovoltaic projects. Grant application requests totaled nearly $22 million.

Projects include a new look for the Anacortes City Hall – a 21.4 kW solar photovoltaic system installed on the roof. The electricity generated by the system will help power City Hall and help the city reduce its electrical purchases by more than $1,969 a year. The solar photovoltaic system is using modules and inverters made in Washington by Itek and Solectria.

The City of Soap Lake will save more than $3,126 a year through energy efficiency improvements, including installation of citywide LED technology lighting upgrades and a new well pump. In addition, Soap Lake’s City Hall and Police Station, and the Soap Lake Library and Senior Center will both receive new heating and cooling controls that will increase the life expectancy of existing equipment and reduce energy use.

Higher Education Energy Efficiency Awards
Applicant Award Location
Clark College

Edmonds Community College

Seattle Central College

Wenatchee Valley College

Total $1,259,764
Local Government Energy Efficiency Awards
City of Bellingham
City of Camas
City of Fife
City of Kelso
City of Kent
City of Langley
City of McCleary
City of Prosser
City of Puyallup
City of Selah
City of Soap Lake
City of Sultan
City of West Richland
Town of Friday Harbor
Lewis County
Spokane Transit









Total $4,388,975
State Agency Energy Efficiency Awards 
Department of Ecology
Department of Transportation
Lacey, Spokane
Total $632,328
Solar Awards 
City of Anacortes
City of Kittitas
Columbia Basin College
Kent Fire Department RFA
King County
Port of Skagit County


Total $2,341,421
Total Amount Awarded all Categories $8,622,488



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