Funding for Washington’s Clean Energy Fund (“CEF”) II hangs in the balance as the Washington State Legislature entered the 15th day of its first special session following the close of the 2015 regular session. A special session was necessary because neither a general fund budget nor a capital budget has been passed.
The CEF, which was established for the first time in the 2013 capital budget, is managed by the state Department of Commerce and supports clean energy projects and technologies statewide. Governor Inslee proposed $60 million for CEF II in his 2015 capital budget. The House has $40 million for CEF in the House’s 2015 proposed capital budget, and the Senate has $0.
Budget leaders in Olympia are meeting to develop compromise general fund and capital budgets, and the future of CEF II must be resolved in those negotiations.
The 2013 CEF was used to fund energy storage demonstration projects proposed by Avista Utilities, Puget Sound Energy, and Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, Washington ($15 million). The 2013 CEF funds also were used for revolving loan fund grants to support residential and commercial energy efficiency projects ($15 million). The remainder of the 2013 CEF ($6 million) will be used by Washington research institutions as matching funds for federal grants.
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