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The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $3.5 million in grants to state and local government agencies to install solar panels at public buildings throughout the state, including several on the Eastside.

The 29 projects will provide more than 2.2 megawatts of solar and will produce more than 3 million kWh annually. That's enough to power about 280 homes, the Commerce Department said in a news release.

The grants fund solar at public buildings and facilities such as schools, hospitals, community centers, and wastewater treatment plants. The state’s energy strategy identifies community-owned solar as an important strategy for achieving clean energy and equity goals, especially for tribal and agricultural communities. It also urges state and local agencies to lead by example with clean energy investments for public buildings that build local resilience, according to the release.

“Supporting solar projects in public buildings is one of the many ways Washington state is leading by example as we work toward meeting our goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2050,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said in the release.

See the full list of recipients here.

The competitively scored grant process prioritized projects with lower costs and higher savings, as well as matching funds provided by applicants and new grantees. Roughly another $1 million for solar projects will be awarded through this program in 2022. The next application cycle is expected to open in this quarter.

Solar grants are one of several funding opportunities under Commerce’s Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings program, which provides grants to towns, cities, tribes and other state and local governments to make energy updates to community buildings and facilities. To learn more, visit this link.