In a press statement, Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, said the grants will be directed towards funding clean energy projects proposed by five utilities.
“With these awards, our leading utilities will demonstrate how to integrate battery storage with solar energy and stand-alone energy systems, train the workforce to build and maintain these systems, and lead the industry into the clean energy future,” said the governor.
Energy efficiency and storage
The grants fall under the state’s efforts to lower its carbon emissions, save energy and cut down on costs.
The beneficiaries of the funding include Avista, Seattle City Light, Orcas Power and Light, Snohomish County Public Utility District and Energy Northwest.
In addition, the initiative will also help the utilities to enhance their grid infrastructure in line with the growing regulatory changes and customer expectations.
[quote] Heather Rosentrater, vice president of Avista, added: “We know the future will look different as new technologies continue to change the energy landscape. Today, customers are buying, installing and using distributed energy resources, and actually participating in the grid.
“We are committed to ensuring our system will be flexible enough to meet the changing expectations and future needs of consumers.” [Community solar to boost US clean energy usage – report].
Clean energy and EV adoption
Avista will use the funding to pilot the ability of its technology to integrate renewable energy sources with energy storage systems and supply the grid.
The grants will also help catalyse the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state.
Snohomish Public Utility District will integrate a solar micro-grid with battery storage system to supply power to electric vehicles.
The project aims to develop technologies to avoid straining of the grid during peak periods as a result of EVs being connected to the grid. [Seattle City Light increases EV charging infrastructure].
The grant will also lead to the establishment of a smart energy training facility by Energy Northwest.
The utility firm will collaborate with its 28 utilities and the UW Clean Energy Institute to equip stakeholders with knowledge on battery storage and solar energy generation.
Energy Northwest said the facility will prepare workers for clean energy jobs of the future.
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