The Washington State Department of Commerce Thursday announced $970,000 in Clean Energy Fund grants to five projects that will support electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the state with funding coming to Mason County. Eligible applicants for this first round of current funding through the Electrification of Transportation Systems program were local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, small utilities and state agencies. Commerce initially received 23 applications in a two-phase review process that resulted in the selection of these projects for funding:
- Squaxin Island Tribe, Mason and Clallam counties – $315,000 for the Coordinated Infrastructure Assessment and Transportation Electrification Plans. An Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Consortium, including the Squaxin Island Tribe and Skokomish Tribe working in collaboration with Mason Transit, Mason PUD1 and PUD3, and Jamestown S’Klallam working in collaboration with Clallam PUD and City of Sequim, will develop plans to guide future investments and ensure optimal grid utilization. This will support a robust future electric vehicle infrastructure network along the US 101 corridor.
- Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Cowlitz County – $150,000 for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe Fleet Electrification and Resilient Energy Project. The long-term vision of the project is to decarbonize the Tribe’s fleet. The initial step will be to combine renewable energy generation with an electric vehicle charging and battery storage solution at the administration headquarters in Longview that recharges using minimal energy from the grid.
- Nisqually Tribe, Thurston County – $150,000 for the Nisqually Indian Tribe Fleet Electrification and Resilient Energy Project. The tribe runs retail and service establishments and drawing drivers off I-5 and into the Nisqually reservation can help the local tribal business community. Electric vehicle drivers are a strong market for retail establishments. The establishment of a resilient DC fast charger of over 100 kW will be a draw and will contribute towards economic development objectives of the tribe.
- Nisqually Indian Tribe and the Port of Olympia partnership, Thurston County – $89,000 for the Joint Nisqually Indian Tribe-Port of Olympia Hydrogen for the Transportation and Energy Reserve Power Project. Conversion studies will be conducted for the Tribe’s 160-vehicle fleet and the Port’s vehicle and industrial equipment. The study will assess emergency resiliency and scaled deployment of a modular on-site H2 electrolytic energy system with public access through the Tribe’s fueling and convenience stores.
- Yakama Power in Whitman, Garfield, Adams, Spokane, Lincoln, and Asotin counties – $266,000 for Transportation Electrification Strategies Serving Tribal Lands and Rural Communities of Central and Eastern Washington Project. An Electric Vehicle Planning Consortium of Yakama Power, Kalispel Tribal Utilities, City of Chewelah, and Inland Power will begin building a broad coalition, working collaboratively for the first time across rural electric utilities and Tribal Nations in central and eastern Washington to conduct long-term program planning for future investment while best supporting community members.
“These projects are exciting examples of collaborations between Washington’s Tribal and local government leaders and utilities, building on shared values of environmental stewardship and equitable economic opportunity to advance our transportation electrification goals,” said Commerce Interim Director Kendrick Stewart.
The Washington State Legislature created the Clean Energy Fund to provide a public benefit through the deployment of clean energy technologies that save energy and reduce energy costs, reduce harmful air emissions, or otherwise increase energy independence for the state. To meet Washington’s climate emission reduction goals for the transportation sector, the 2021 State Energy Strategy recommends rapid electrification of all transportation markets and deep reductions to vehicle miles traveled. The Electrification of Transportation Systems Grants program is intended to support the continued transformation of the electric transportation market in Washington state.
A second round of grant applications which closed March 6 is currently being reviewed.