Washington State Department of Commerce announced $3.7 million was awarded for solar installations benefitting low-income communities. The Opportunity Council’s East Whatcom Regional Resource Center was among the recipients. Below are excerpts from the state press release.
(February 25, 2021) — The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $3.7 million in grants for nine solar energy projects across the state. The projects will result in a total $6.1 million reduction in the energy burden of low-income households and nonprofits serving low-income communities over 25 years.
The Low-Income Solar Deployment Program is part of Washington’s Clean Energy Fund, established in 2013. These grants will result in 2.8 megawatts (MW) of nameplate generation from new solar installations — enough solar power to serve about 322 average households per year or over 12 million electric vehicle miles.
“Low-income households pay a disproportionately higher portion of income for energy bills, and often are also in locations more likely to be impacted by the effects of harmful carbon emissions and climate change, such as poor air quality,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “These projects will lower the energy burden of low-income communities while increasing renewable energy generation on the electric grid, both important steps toward achieving energy equity across Washington state.”
Among the pool of 12 applicants requesting a total of $4.8 million, the projects awarded funding are: