Future Community Solar Projects Among 9 Solar Projects to Receive Grants

Community Solar solar panel
Community Solar

Nine solar projects are part of a $3.7 million grant approved by the Washington State Department of Commerce. Among those projects are several community solar projects that will help expand low-cost and accessible renewable energy options to homeowners throughout Washington state. According to the announcement, all nine clean energy projects will reduce the cost of electricity for low-income households by approximately $6.1 million over the course of its 25-year lifespan.

The money is coming from the state’s Clean Energy Fund and is being distributed as part of the Low-Income Solar Deployment Program. The program, which was established in 2013, will generate an additional 2.8-megawatts of solar energy from the nine installations. That is equal to the energy used by just over 320 households annually. It is also the equivalent of more than 12 million miles from electric vehicles.

According to Lisa Brown, Washington’s Commerce Director, low-income homeowners often pay more money for their electricity and are often located in areas greatly affected by carbon emissions. Brown further explained that the nine solar projects will both lower the cost of electricity in low-income neighborhoods while also improving the presence of clean, renewable electricity generation. 

The nine projects were chosen among a pool of one dozen applications. The original grant was for $4.8 million, but was reduced to $3.7 when only nine applications were approved. Among the community solar projects receiving the grant are:

  • Orcas Power & Light Cooperative, which received $1 million for a 1.2-megawatt array constructed on San Juan Island. The energy generated by these array swill offset electricity costs on Washington’s three main islands.
  • Puget Sound Energy, which received more than $200,000 for a 243-kilowatt solar project planned for construction on the Olympia Center. The savings from this facility will be provided to low-income residents of Olympia.
  • Olympia Community Solar, which received $340,000 to construct a 126-kilowatt installation for the Merritt Manor housing complex.
  • Snohomish County Public Utility District, which received just over $860,000 for a project in south Everett. The credits generated this facility will be distributed to Project Pride, which serves Snohomish County homeowners.


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