Led by Representative Sharon Shewmake, lawmakers in Olympia have approved new funding for Washington’s expired solar energy incentive program. Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1814 on March 30 with the aim of closing an equity gap in community solar.
The policy creates a new incentive program beginning in 2023 that will provide funding for low-income households and low-income service providers’ installing community solar. Washington State University Energy Extension will manage the $100 million in funding.
The program will cover up to 100% of project costs. It places a limit of $20,000 on the administrative and development costs a project manager can recoup per project.
“Everyone needs to be a part of the green energy future,” said Shewmake. “In the past, solar energy incentive programs have primarily benefited people who can dole out cash for the panels and installation. We can do more to include everyone in the transition to a green economy and together, with this bill, we will.”
The new program is in part the result of a three-year effort by nonprofit Washington State University Energy Extension will manage the $100 million in funding, providing grants to community solar projects around the state to pass policy that recognizes the growing need for equity in the energy economy.
News item from Olympia Community Solar. Edited on April 22 to clarify that the $20,000 limit is on administrative costs.