NEWS RELEASE: Solar Plus Regional Initiative Wins $2 Million Grant from US Department of Energy

powered-by-sunshot-twitter1-3Three-year joint effort to develop strategies for increasing solar energy, modernizing energy infrastructure in Washington and Oregon will launch this year.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Solar Plus, a joint effort of more than a dozen stakeholder groups in Washington and Oregon has been awarded a $2,050,000 SunShot grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to further deployment of solar energy in the Pacific Northwest. It is the largest of the 17 awards totaling $21 million announced today.

Washington State is also one of 11 states in the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB), which received the second largest grant award of $2,020,000. The WIEB is based in Denver, CO.

The Solar Plus initiative will convene leaders from utilities, regulators, the Washington State Energy Office at the Department of Commerce, the Oregon Department of Energy, the solar industry and community-based organizations to develop a plan to tap into our region’s unique opportunities to develop solar and provide greater access.

The $2,050,000 grant is matched with additional cost-share commitments from partners. Over three years launching later this year, Solar Plus will look beyond energy generation to additional solar value streams, through three main focus areas:
· Deploying more community shared solar projects in the region
· Creating opportunities for increased resilience and access to solar for low-income communities
· Maximizing the social and electricity grid value of solar development

“Ensuring a clean energy future is vital to strengthening communities, and these awards recognize our leadership in renewable energy development,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “We are excited to guide this effort convened by Northwest SEED and supported by a diverse group of public and private partners representing the needs and interests of our entire region.”

“Solar Plus will equitably grow the solar market in the Northwest and move us towards the energy grid of the future. Our community-driven approach seeks to triple the amount of solar, decrease costs, and double the solar jobs in the region by 2020,” said Jennifer Grove, Executive Director, Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED).

Solar Plus will advance the broad-based goals set forth in the 2016 Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future: diversify our energy generation, expand clean energy sources and modernize our energy infrastructure.
Contact: Penny Thomas, Commerce Press Office, (206) 256-6106

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