Olympia Community Solar Wins a 3-Year-Long Legislative Effort for House Bill 1814

Mason Rolph

Led by Representative Sharon Shewmake, lawmakers in Olympia have approved new funding for Washington’s expired solar energy incentive program.  Governor Inslee signed House Bill 1814 on March 30th which creates a new incentive program beginning in 2023.

The program will provide funding for low-income households and low-income service providers’ installing solar.

Washington State University Energy Extension will manage the $100 million in funding, providing grants to community solar projects around the state.

“Everyone needs to be a part of the green energy future,” said Shewmake. “In the past, solar energy incentive programs have primarily benefited people who can dole out cash for the panels and installation. We can do more to include everyone in the transition to a green economy and together, with this bill, we will.”

The new program is in part the result of a three year effort by Olympia Community Solar, a small non-profit, to pass policy that recognizes the growing need for equity in the energy economy. The president of the organization, Mason Rolph, commented “The benefits of solar energy should be accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live or their income. This legislation is a small step in Washington’s progress toward a clean, affordable, and just clean energy transition.

Projects resulting from the fund will not only reduce pollution, they will also reduce poverty.”

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