PROJECT PROFILE: Washington Department of Commerce (SEEDS2-SES)

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Project Name: Solar-Plus Strategies for Oregon and Washington
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies 2 – State Energy Strategies (SEEDS2-SES)
SunShot Subprogram: Soft Costs
Location: Olympia, WA
SunShot Award Amount: $2,050,000
Awardee Cost Share: $525,885

This project focuses on how to deploy smart, equitable solar in both Washington and Oregon to achieve broader system benefits and societal goals. The project aims to triple the solar capacities of both states, reduce installed costs for rooftop solar by almost half, and double the solar-related employment in the Pacific Northwest by leveraging the technical, social, and economic benefits of solar. The three main areas of focus are solar energy equity, community solar, and the overall social and economic value of solar.

APPROACH

The project team will convene a stakeholder forum of utilities, state planners, industry, environmental justice, and consumer advocates to reach a consensus on a plan of action for solar deployment. Both states will create a working strategy to address post-deployment goals for jobs, resilience, and equity. This work builds on progress made in the Rooftop Solar Challenge I and II programs, which increased solar energy deployment five-fold in Washington State and more than doubled solar in Oregon.

INNOVATION

This project will quantify the full suite of social, environmental, and economic benefits associated with solar market growth as costs are reduced and deployment increases. These efforts will increase the market significantly in the residential, commercial, and community solar sectors, leading to a total of 500 MW installed by 2019. In developing this capacity, the project will increase the jobs in solar by 5,000 regionally and ensure equitable sharing of benefits and development with low- and moderate-income customers.