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.
About Northwest SEED
Northwest SEED, a nonprofit organization founded in 2001, works at the local level to reduce the dependency on high-carbon fuels and speed the transition to sustainable energy system. Through renewable energy projects and progressive advocacy Northwest SEED envisions a region powered entirely by clean energy. www.nwseed.org
Commerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit www.commerce.wa.gov. For information on locating or expanding a business in Washington, visit www.choosewashington.com.
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot
Penny Thomas, Commerce Media Relations, 206-256-6106
Jaimes Valdez, NW SEED, 206-914-3510