PUD wins broadband and solar grants
Jefferson County PUD was awarded two grants from the State of Washington’s Commerce Department during the second week of December. The first grant, $1.09M from the Public Works Board, will pay for the PUD to construct fiber optic cable to over 70 homes along Hwy 20 and Anderson Lake Road. The second grant is for $100,000 and will fund the construction of solar panels on the roof of the PUD’s newly expanded and remodeled operations Center on Four Corners Rd.
Both projects will begin construction in 2022. The fiber grant is the first funded of four projects the PUD has developed as part of its goal to build fiber to all residents and businesses in the PUD’s electrical service territory lacking access to internet speeds of 25/3mbps or better over a wired connection. The PUD has also submitted a grant application to the federal government for a $12M project to build to residents from Quilcene to Gardiner and part of Chimacum; and another grant request for $11M to the Washington State Broadband Office to build fiber to residents around Cape George, near Woodland Hills, and on Marrowstone Island. Funding announcements for both awards are due in January. The PUD’s largest and last grant project is still in development and would fund fiber from Chimacum to the Coyle. It will be submitted to the federal government in January. In total the PUD expects to apply for over $40M in funding.
The Department of Commerce’s Solar Grants provide competitive funding to install solar at public buildings and facilities, such as schools, hospitals, civic buildings, and wastewater treatment plants. They are intended to help cut energy costs, reduce pollution, and showcase solar projects in communities across the state. Jefferson County PUD’s proposal will fund the construction of a 100kW system composed of more than 275 solar panels.