MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Washington receives over $150M to implement solar, lower energy costs

Apr 23, 2024, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:52 pm

Photo: Lund Hill solar farm in Klickitat County, Washington, the state’s largest photovoltaic pla...

Lund Hill solar farm in Klickitat County, Washington, the state’s largest photovoltaic plant. (Photo courtesy of Business Wire)

(Photo courtesy of Business Wire)

Even though Earth Day just passed, Washington has the opportunity to help the planet. On Monday, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Washington State Department of Commerce has been selected to get $156,120,000 to develop long-lasting solar programs for low-income communities.

The funding comes from the $7 billion Solar for All grant competition, under the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that solar energy is gaining traction as a main source of renewable energy. Solar can reduce that nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and boost the reliability of the electric grid.

However, solar energy is expensive to install, hence the grant program.

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Washington’s Dept. of Commerce was one of 60 nationwide recipients of the grant, according to the EPA. The funding will allow over 900,000 underprivileged communities to get solar and create around 200,000 jobs in the U.S.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced that 2,000 corps positions are currently being offered across 36 states as part of the American Climate Corps green jobs training program.

“You’ll get paid to fight climate change,” Biden said at an event centered around Earth Day on Monday.

According to a news release from EPA Region 10, Washington will launch different programs to give solar access to residents who qualify for low-income. These will complement existing programs supporting solar distribution

One program will focus on single-family homeowners, another will help multifamily affordable housing properties and another will focus on solar for Tribal regions.

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“This funding will be used to supercharge the deployment of solar power in communities, create jobs, make our power grid more resilient, and lower the cost of energy for every household,” EPA Region 10 Administrator Casey Sixkiller in the news release.

However, the Greenhouse Reduction Fund has faced Republican opposition over concerns about how the money is used.

The EPA gave the other $20 billion of the bank’s funding to nonprofits and community development banks, according to The AP. These organizations are meant to use the money on projects like residential heat pumps, energy-efficient home improvements and larger projects like electric car charging stations and community cooling centers.

Contributing: Alexa St. John and Will Weissert, The Associated Press

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

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