Department of Commerce awards grant to FWPS for energy management

The funds will be used to install high-efficiency electric equipment at the former DeVry building to reduce energy demand.

The Washington State Department of Commerce recently announced $9.7 million in Clean Energy Fund grants to support the decarbonization of buildings throughout the state, including at an elementary school in Federal Way.

The Building Electrification grant program funds the deployment of grid-interactive buildings and the installation of high-efficiency electric equipment. Eligible grant applicants included state and local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, utilities, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and individual owners of multifamily residential and commercial buildings.

Federal Way Public Schools will receive $771,084 to install a building automation system and energy management and information system at the former DeVry building, which serves as a temporary campus for several of FWPS schools during construction. Currently, it houses Olympic View Elementary.

The systems will be implemented as part of a collaboration with Puget Sound Energy and Edo to reduce energy demand during peak times, saving energy and reducing the school district’s utility bills.

According to the Department of Commerce, buildings are the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after transportation.

“Supporting decarbonization and improved energy efficiency in the buildings sector is a key element of our 2021 State Energy Strategy to achieve energy independence and meet our aggressive emission reduction goals,” said Commerce Assistant Director Michael Furze. “These projects are great examples of public and private sector partners working together to reduce climate impacts in ways that directly benefit communities throughout Washington state.”

Commerce selected 17 projects from 50 applications requesting a total of over $28 million in funding.