Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program (Washington)

From Open Energy Information


Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Financial Incentive Program

Place Washington

Name Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program
Incentive Type Performance-Based Incentive
Applicable Sector Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Local Government, Utility
Eligible Technologies Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Anaerobic Digestion
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount 0.12/kWh - 1.08/kWh through 6/30/2020, depending on project type, technology type and where equipment was manufactured

Eligible System Size Community solar projects: up to 75 kW

Start Date 2006-08-31
Expiration Date 2020-06-30
Funding Source Utilities pay incentives and earn a tax credit equal to the cost of those payments

Maximum Incentive 5,000/year
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits Customer-generator

Terms Off-grid properties are not eligible
Program Administrator Utilities

References DSIREDatabase of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency[1]


In May 2005, Washington enacted Senate Bill 5101, establishing production incentives for individuals, businesses, and local governments that generate electricity from solar power, wind power or anaerobic digesters. The incentive amount paid to the producer starts at a base rate of $0.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and is adjusted by multiplying the incentive by the following factors:

  • For electricity produced using solar modules manufactured in Washington state: 2.4
  • For electricity produced using a solar or wind generator equipped with an inverter manufactured in Washington state: 1.2
  • For electricity produced using both solar modules and an inverter manufactured in Washington state: 3.6
  • For electricity produced using an anaerobic digester, by other solar equipment, or using a wind generator equipped with blades manufactured in Washington state: 1.0
  • For all other electricity produced by wind: 0.8

These multipliers result in production incentives ranging from $0.12 to $0.54/kWh, capped at $5,000 per year. Ownership of the renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with generation remains with the customer-generator and does not transfer to the state or utility.

Community solar projects are able to receive the production incentive, and are defined as solar energy systems up to 75 kilowatts (kW) that are owned by local entities and placed on local government property, or owned by utilities if the utility has annual sales no greater than 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) and if the project is funded voluntarily by utility ratepayers. Projects on local government property that are owned by limited liability companies, cooperatives, or mutual corporations or associations are also able to receive the incentive. The company itself is not eligible, but owners may take advantage of the incentive. The base rate for community solar projects is $0.30/kWh and the multipliers are the same as those used for other renewable energy technologies. Each participant in a community solar project, or each owner of a project, can apply to receive this incentive and may receive up to $5,000 per year.

The state's utilities will pay the incentives and earn a tax credit equal to the cost of those payments. The credit cannot exceed the greater of $100,000 or 0.5% of a utility’s taxable power sales. Incentive payments to community solar projects cannot exceed 25% of the total allowable credit. The incentive amount may be uniformly reduced if requests for the incentive exceed the available funds.

The incentives apply to power generated as of July 1, 2005, and remain in effect through June 30, 2020. A utility may not claim any tax credits for incentive payments after June 30, 2021.

Click here for the Department of Revenue (DOR) renewable energy system certification form and here for the community solar project certification form. Click here for the DOR annual incentive payment application and here for the DOR annual incentive payment application for community solar projects.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Phil Lou
Department Washington State University
Division Extension Energy Program
Address PO Box 43165
Address 2 905 Plum St SE Bldg #4
Place Olympia, Washington
Zip/Postal Code 98504-3165
Phone (360) 956-2132

Contact Name Beth Mills
Department Washington State Department of Revenue
Address 6500 Linderson Way SW
Address 2 Suite 102
Place Tumwater, Washington
Zip/Postal Code 98501
Phone (360) 705-6642


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: RCW 82.16.110 et seq.
Date Effective 2005-07-01
Date Enacted 5/6/2005 (subsequently amended)
Expiration Date 2020-06-30
Authority 2: WAC 458-20-273
Date Effective 2006-08-31

Authority 3: WAC 458-20-273 Emergency Rules
Date Enacted 2012-07-27

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DSIRE" defined multiple times with different content