Clean/Renewable Energy Program

Under the law, sales and use tax refunds are available for certain clean energy projects when certified by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). This program was created as a way for the state to address the impacts of climate change on a large scale.

NOTE:  If you are a homeowner adding solar panels to your residence, you do not need to read further. Please go to the state Department of Revenue website to ask about a refund.

To receive a refund, a project developer must comply with specific labor standards described below. The machinery and equipment generating the electricity must be installed on or after Jan. 1, 2020, and completed by Dec. 31, 2029.

The amount of the refund depends on the generating capacity of the project. Projects that can receive the refund must be of the following types:

  • Solar.
  • Fuel cells.
  • Wind.
  • Biomass energy.
  • Geothermal resource.
  • Tidal or wave energy.
  • Technology that converts otherwise lost energy from exhaust.

The labor standards L&I will use to certify a project can be included in a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) or Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) as part of the project. A project without a PLA or CWA must still fulfill the labor standards, described below.

You’ll need to submit an application to L&I to receive a certification for your project. Take the certification to DOR to receive a refund for the purchase of the energy generating machinery and equipment.

Large Energy Generation Project (Category 1)
After reviewing the applicable tab, go to the "How to Apply" tab.

IF you are constructing a facility generating more than 1,000 watts AC (1 KW) (Example: Enough energy to power at least 10-15 incandescent lightbulbs or a household dishwasher) of electricity from any of these power sources:

  • Fuel cells.
  • Wind.
  • Biomass energy.
  • Geothermal resource.
  • Tidal or wave energy.
  • Technology that converts otherwise lost energy from exhaust.

OR
Constructing a solar energy system capable of generating more than 500 kilowatts AC (example: Enough energy to power more than a dozen homes) of electricity,

THEN
You can receive up to a 100% refund of the sales tax spent on the energy-producing equipment.

100% tax refund

To receive a 100% tax refund, you must submit an Application for Clean Energy Labor Standards Certification (F303-001-000) with the following:

  • A signed Project Labor Agreement (PLA) or Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) prior to the start of the project.

A PLA or CWA is defined as a collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment on the project.

To receive a 75% tax refund, you must submit an Application for Clean Energy Labor Standards Certification (F303-001-000) prior to the start of the project.

At the end of the project (the end date you place on the application), you must provide documentation to L&I (see below) indicating that you met all of the following criteria:
  • 21% of all contracts awarded were to women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, or veteran-owned businesses.
  • 15% of the project's total labor hours were performed by registered apprentices approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC).
  • 35% (20% for rural counties*) of the project’s total labor hours were performed by local residents.
  • Contracts awarded were to businesses that have no findings of violation of federal or state wage and hour laws and regulations.
  • All workers performing labor hours on the project were paid equal to or more than prevailing wages as determined by the department under Chapter 39.12 RCW. 
  • Good-faith efforts are met for any of the criteria above, as defined in Chapter 296-140-002 WAC.

* Rural county: Counties with a population density of less than 100 people per square mile or a county smaller than 225 square miles as determined by the state Office of Financial Management.

To receive 50% tax refund, you must submit an Application for Clean Energy Labor Standards Certification (F303-001-000) prior to the start of the project.
At the end of the project (end date you place on the application), you must provide documentation to L&I (see below) indicating that you met all of the following criteria:

  • 21% of all contracts awarded were to women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, or veteran-owned businesses.
  • 15% of the project's total labor hours were performed by registered apprentices approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC).
  • 35% (20% for rural counties*) of the project’s total labor hours were performed by local residents.
  • Contracts awarded were to businesses that have no findings of violation of federal or state wage and hour laws and regulations.
  • Good faith efforts are met for any of the criteria above, as defined in Chapter 296-140-002 WAC.

* Rural county: Counties with a population density of less than 100 people per square mile or a county smaller than 225 square miles as determined by the state Office of Financial Management.

Small Energy Generation Project (Category 2)

If you are constructing solar energy systems capable of generating more than 100 kilowatts AC, but no more than 500 kilowatts AC (example: powering up to about a dozen homes) of electricity, then, you can receive 50% refund of the sales tax spent on the energy-producing equipment.

To receive 50% tax refund, you must submit an Application for Clean Energy Labor Standards Certification (F303-001-000) prior to the start of the project.

At the end of the project (the end date you place on the application), you must provide documentation to L&I (see below) indicating that you met all of the following criteria:

  • 21% of all contracts awarded were to women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, or veteran-owned businesses.
  • 15% of the project's total labor hours were performed by registered apprentices approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC).
  • 35% (20% for rural counties*) of the project’s total labor hours were performed by local residents.
  • Contracts awarded were to businesses that have no findings of violation of federal or state wage and hour laws and regulations.
  • Good faith efforts are met for any of the criteria above, as defined in Chapter 296-140-002 WAC.

* Rural county: Counties with a population density of less than 100 people per square mile or a county smaller than 225 square miles as determined by the state Office of Financial Management.

How to Apply

Prior to the start of your project, fill out the application and send to L&I. We will contact you within 7-10 business days regarding next steps.

  • Your application can be expedited if you submit a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) or Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) with your application.
  • If you do not have a PLA or CWA, you will be required to provide additional information to L&I at the completion of the project. See other tabs for more information will be required based on your project’s wattage.

If your application is approved, we will send you a letter of certification. This letter must be provided to the state Department of Revenue to receive a refund under the Clean/Renewable Energy Program. Visit www.dor.wa.gov/cleanenergy

If your application is denied, it is because you did not meet at least one of the requirements, or acted in good faith as defined in Chapter 296-140-002 WAC.

  • We will send you a letter with the detailed findings and unmet criteria.
  • If you would like to discuss your denial, please contact the program.
Rulemaking

For status about the Clean Energy Rulemaking process.