Solar Washington

Advancing Solar Energy in Washington State

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Solar Washington is a 501c3 nonprofit organization promoting the development and effective use of solar and renewable energy with concern for the economic, environmental and social fabric of Washington. Support solar in Washington by becoming a member today. Click to join the effort! Do you have a question about solar? Click here to ask us!

 

 

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House Bill 2346 Seeks to Reform Current Incentive Structure

(February 12, 2016)-HB 2346 - promoting a sustainable, local renewable energy industry through modifying renewable energy system tax incentives and providing guidance for renewable energy system component recycling - is under consideration this legislative session. The bill aims to revise the rate structure, among other things, that allows for payments to homeowners and businesses for producing electricity from renewable energy sources including solar and wind. 
 
In 2006 the Washington State Legislature created the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program which has been instrumental in building a robust state solar industry to include local solar panel manufacturing, more installation companies, and over 2,000 family-wage jobs. This, coupled with the decreasing cost of solar and more streamlined permitting processes among munipalities and utilities, has made solar much more affordable for Washingtonians. 
 
Among other things, the bill lowers the production incentive rates, raises the utility cap, simplifies the community solar program, and provides early expiration of the sales tax exemption.  
 
Solar Installers of Washington, a trade group representing Washington installers, has been on the forefront of getting the bill passed this session.  "SIW believes that HB 2346 will continue to promote rapid solar deployment in Washington and also support family-wage jobs in our state’s solar industry," says SIW President Lori Christian. 
 
Other groups including regional nonprofit organizations have been active in communicating the implications of this bill. “While Northwest SEED supports HB 2346, we seek higher incentive rates adequate to encourage new solar growth, and opportunities for broad participation by customers of all income levels,” adds Jaimes Valdez, Policy Manager of NW SEED.
 
As of February 12, 2016 the bill has passed the House Appropriations Committee and, after clearing the Rules Committee, should head to the Senate. Click for more information on HB 2346

Snohomish PUD Awards Mini-Grants for Energy Projects at Schools

(February 9, 2016)-Budding young scientists and engineers will get a boost this year with help from Snohomish County PUD. Local students will soon be assembling Snap Circuits and racing solar cars. They’ll learn about energy transformations and water turbines. The PUD recently awarded 13 mini-grants for science-related educational projects in several local school districts. The grants help schools incorporate energy and water education into their curriculum.

Solar Washington brings you updates from the current  2016 legislative session in Olympia including information about public hearings, bills and other news related to solar. This session kicked off on January 11, 2016. Click for updates.

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The 2015 Washington State Solar Summit was held October 9 & 10, 2015 at Shoreline Community College and was presented by Solar Washington. The Solar Summit was an annual gathering of solar industry stakeholders including installers, manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, nonprofits, legislators and others discussing important issues and opportunities for the solar industry in Washington.

Click to for the agenda and more information.