Three years of work, hundreds of meetings, 45 trips to Olympia, and thousands of constituent actions came to a close Friday July 7, 2017 with the signing of Senate Bill 5939 into law in the Governor’s conference room at the Legislative Building in Olympia.
It is a complicated bill with 19 sections, but the primary effects of the law will be the funding of the old program at FY 2016 incentive levels, the creation of a new program that gives each participant eight years of incentives, and the early retirement of the sales tax waiver programs. In year one incentive rates for the new program are $0.16/kWh for residential or community solar projects, $0.06/kWh for commercial-scale projects and Shared Commercial Solar Projects, and a bonus of $0.05/kWh for projects with Washington-made PV panels.
The new program takes effect immediately, but there is a grace period until September 30 to get projects certified under the old program, and the sales tax waiver expires September 30.
There are other administrative changes and the program will now be administered by Washington State University Energy Extension instead of the Department of Revenue.