Bookmark and Share

Eligibility & Incentive Rates

Eligibility

Renewable energy systems eligible for incentives under the new incentive program include solar photovoltaic energy systems, anaerobic digesters, and wind generators used for producing electricity.

The system categories are as follow:

  • Residential-scale system: Combined nameplate capacity at a single site of 12 kWdc or less.
  • Commercial-scale system: Combined nameplate capacity greater than 12 kWdc.
  • Shared commercial solar project: Owned or administered by an electric utility with a combined nameplate capacity greater than 1 MWdc and up to 5 MWdc.
  • Community solar project: No larger than 1,000 kWdc.

Incentive Rates

Incentive rates for the new program are based on the state fiscal year that the system is certified, project type, and made-in-Washington bonus. Incentive rates are listed in the chart below. This is a production-based incentive. Your utility will report annual production of your system to the WSU Energy Program team. We will then calculate your incentive for that fiscal year and share this with your utility, who will then provide incentives payments by Dec. 15 of that fiscal year.

State fiscal years run from July 1 to June 30 of the following calendar year. Certification of a new system may take up to 30 days from date of submission. We encourage applicants to submit your application when the renewable energy system passes final electrical inspection.

Incentive Program Limits, Terms, and Caps

Incentive Limits

Annual incentive payments are issued for a program term of eight years, subject to caps and limits. Caps and limits operate at several levels. At the incentive-recipient level, there are annual limits and an overall cap to the total cumulative incentive payments.

  • Annual incentive limits: The annual limits on total incentives paid per person, business, or household for a given fiscal year of electricity generation from the four project types described above. Each incentive recipient may qualify for payments up to the incentive cap within each project type. However, incentive recipients who have multiple projects within one project type are subject to the cap for the applicable project type. These caps are as follows:
    • Residential-scale systems: $5,000
    • Commercial-scale systems: $25,000
    • Shared commercial solar projects: Up to $35,000 per year per project participant, as determined by the terms specified in chapter 36, Laws of 2017, 3rd sp. sess. (ESSB 5939)
    • Community solar projects: $5,000 per project participant.
  • Total system price cap: Incentive payments are issued annually for eight years or until cumulative incentive payments reach 50% of the total system price. For example, if cumulative incentive payments reached 50% of the total system price in year six, no further incentive payments would be issued after year six.

Utility Limits

Each utility has:

  • A specific annual cap that limits total annual incentive payments to 1.5% of their calendar year 2014 power sales, and 
  • Project-specific caps (for shared commercial and community solar, and commercial solar projects).

Total Program Limit

The total incentive payments made under this program may not exceed $110 million.