Washington State announces almost $5m in clean energy grants

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The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced seven grants totaling $4.76 million (€4.5 million) from the state’s Clean Energy Fund to enhance dairy digesters and advance clean energy in rural communities.
These investments will result in improved air and water quality or soil health, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local economic benefits, according to the department.
“The clean energy economy is rich with opportunities for every corner of Washington state, as evidenced by the innovative project proposals from these rural communities,” said commerce director Mike Fong.
“These investments in diverse technologies contribute to our climate and clean energy goals and support cross-cutting priorities including sustainable climate-smart business models for the agriculture sector, community energy resilience, jobs and economic development, and tribal sovereignty.”
For example, in Whatcom County, FPE Renewables will install a new generator technology, which will improve efficiency, increase annual renewable electrical production, and result in decreased air emissions at the Vander Haak Dairy and surrounding community, added the department.
“Co-digestion projects involving dairy manure and pre-consumer food processing waste provide numerous environmental benefits to the community, state and the nation,” said Steve Vander Haak, FPE Renewables owner and managing partner.
“Key among those benefits are stabilisation of waste organic streams for use as a renewable fertiliser, production of renewable electricity for charging EVs, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and reduction in odours incurred during processing, storage and application of the organic slurries wastes.”
Vander Haak noted that once installed and at full capacity, FPE Renewables should be able to supply enough renewable electricity to operate over 3,000 electric cars annually – all from waste manure and food residuals.
The Spokane Tribe will conduct a significant energy efficiency and decarbonization overhaul of the Tribal Administrative Building in Stevens County.
The estimated reduction in utilities bill for the building as a result of these energy efficiency improvements is projected to be over $30,000 (€28.5k) annually.
“This funding will not only address many of the utilities related problems which the Tribal Administrative Building is currently having; but also making the building more energy efficient and green,” said Maria Cullooyah, Spokane Tribe of Indians director of Public Works and Utilities.
“This project will set an example for all other Spokane Tribal buildings and facilities going forward, as well as a new overall sustainable decarbonisation approach toward any tribal projects in the future.”

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