Port of Tacoma awarded nearly $200K for energy efficiency upgrades

Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday nearly $18 million in grants aimed to create jobs and lower energy costs have been awarded to 12 higher education institutions and 37 local governments.

Washington State Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency Grants were awarded to the following governments and institutions in Pierce County:

  • Pierce College / $825,000 — Extensive control updates, retro-commissioning, and new sub-metering equipment will be done at the Puyallup and Steilacoom campuses. The Steilacoom campus will also receive all new exterior lighting;
  • Port of Tacoma / $197,532 — Exterior and interior lighting retrofits for energy conservation at the multiple Port of Tacoma facilities, including marine cargo terminals, rail yards, a large warehouse and commercial building;
  • City of Buckley / $325,000 — Six city buildings will receive either new programmable thermostats, HVAC systems and controls or insulation;
  • City of Ruston / $24,750 — The city will be installing energy-efficient street lighting along North 52nd Street, between Highland and Shirley streets.

The long-term goal of the state’s Energy Efficiency Grant program is to reduce energy costs at the state’s public higher education institutions and local government facilities, according to Inslee. The immediate goal is to stimulate Washington’s economy by creating jobs. According to Inslee, an estimated 543 jobs will be created by this construction spending. The total cost for all the projects is more than $66 million, including more than $48 million in non-state funding.

“This is precisely the sort of program we need as we work to rebuild our economy,” Inslee said. “These grants will reduce energy costs, provide training opportunities to students and create jobs in the clean energy sector.”

“The upgrades provided by these grants, such as new lighting, boilers, and water-saving plumbing, put people to work right away, and the energy efficiencies will save money for Washington taxpayers well into the future,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “The program stretches grant dollars by leveraging funding from non-state sources.”

The 2012 Legislature appropriated $20 million to higher education and $18 million to local governments, including a specific set aside of at least 10 percent for small cities or towns (populations of 5,000 or less). There have been two rounds of awards. The first recipients were announced in August 2012 and included Bates Technical College ($128,037), Clover Park Technical College ($180,000), and the City of Tacoma ($500,000).

The grants were awarded through a competitive process and must be used solely for energy and operational cost saving improvements. Projects for the second round of funding were selected from 60 grant applications requesting a total of more than $23 million.

A complete list of Round Two Energy Efficiency Grant recipients is available here.

More information about the program is available online here.