Clean energy coordination
The 2023 Legislature passed House Bill 1216 to help make the process for siting and permitting clean energy projects more effective and efficient. The goal is to encourage clean energy while protecting the environment and overburdened communities, and respecting Tribal rights, interests, and resources.
We will be working with other state agencies, local and Tribal governments, and other interested parties to implement the bill. There are four focus areas:
- Developing three programmatic environmental impact statements for solar energy, onshore wind energy, and green electrolytic and renewable hydrogen projects
- Developing and putting in place a coordinated permitting process for clean energy projects
- Co-leading an interagency clean energy siting coordinating council with the state Department of Commerce
- Exploring how to consolidate state permitting processes for clean energy projects
Programmatic environmental impact statements
We will develop three programmatic environmental impact statements for utility-scale solar energy, onshore wind energy, and green electrolytic and renewable hydrogen projects. The legislative deadline for completing these environmental assessments is June 30, 2025.
A programmatic EIS is a planning document not specific to a particular project. It provides information and includes opportunities of public and Tribal engagement. The programmatic environmental review will evaluate impacts at a broad level such as:
- Existing conditions
- Project alternatives
- Potential environmental impacts
- Proposed mitigation to offset potential impacts
Interagency Clean Energy Coordinating Siting Council
In partnership with the state Department of Commerce, we will lead a group of state agencies to identify actions to improve siting and permitting clean energy projects in Washington. The Clean Energy Siting Council will track the progress of efforts to improve siting projects, support interagency coordination, and make recommendations to the state Legislature. The first set of recommendations is due to lawmakers in October 2024.