Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

2019 Planet Power Grant Application

Thank you for your interest in a Planet Power Grant. Our window for 2019 applications is now closed. We are currently reviewing first-round preliminary applications and will respond directly to applicants in the upcoming weeks. 

FAQs from this year's Complete Application Rounds

The District received no applicable questions related to the RFA during the second (Complete Application Round) question and answer period.

FAQs from previous Complete Application Rounds

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My registered installer notified me about new code rules that will affect project costs. How should I reflect that in the Complete Application?

Installers are responsible to be aware of code changes and should provide project bids accordingly. The final bid submitted with the Complete Application should be valid until funds are awarded to the customer in about July/August 2019. 

Do we need to have a 1-line diagram for the Complete Application, or can that be provided later?

Yes, a 1-line diagram is required for the Complete Application. At this stage in the review process, the PUD is looking for fully developed projects, which includes all of the documents specified in the Complete Application Instructions that were sent with the invitation to the second round.

What if the selected solar panel design does not address one of the suggestions from our invitation letter?

Applicants are not required to change their design in response to a suggestion. However, the Planet Power grant process is an open and competitive process. Final grant decisions will be evaluated based upon the Complete Application

FAQs from this year's Preliminary Grant Round

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Does Planet Power require TSRF to be over 70% or 75%?

No, there is no minimum TSRF required for application. However, the degree of solar viability will be taken into consideration during the selection process.

Beyond the noted “common area displays of project information,” are there any requirements around public accessibility/visibility for the grant-funded installation? For example, does the general public need to have access and/or direct visibility of the installation?

No, public access to, or visibility of the solar array is not required. We understand that a roof-mounted system may not be visible. Therefore, we ask that signage referencing the production of solar power or a monitoring system, etc., be publicly accessible/visible.

Would it be possible to see a copy of the funding MOA/contract?

Yes, we will provide a sample of the MOA to all eligible applicants by 5/3/19, subject to change.

Are projects with an estimated budget of under $100,000 required (or preferred) to have any matching funding?

No, there is no requirement or preference for matching funds.

Will an applicant “lose grant points” if the solar modules come from Canada, not WA?

No, this is not an evaluation criteria.  

FAQs from previous Preliminary Grant Rounds

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Should I submit multiple bids with my Preliminary Application?

You are only requested to submit one budget estimate with the Preliminary Application. If you have multiple system options, you may request more than one bid from your installer(s), and you should include multiple options in your application. 

If our site is new construction, and funding for construction has not yet been approved, can I still apply for a Planet Power grant?

You may apply for a grant if the project and the solar system installation will be completed by December 2019. 

If our funding is not approved but we are awarded Planet Power funds, can our grant be placed “on hold” until funds are approved?

No, Planet Power funds must be spent in the calendar year of the RFA that they are awarded under. 

If construction cannot be completed by the deadline, can funds be carried over to the next year?

No, Planet Power funds must be spent in the calendar year of the RFA that they are awarded under. 

Does a Planet Power system have to have battery storage?

Planet Power grants must be local renewable generation. Battery storage is not a requirement of the grant and will not be funded by the grant. 

Are there any issues with applying if there is a slight name difference between our PUD bill and our property tax/legal name?

If your project is awarded a Planet Power grant we can reconcile any name issues at that time, assuming the organization is a Snohomish County PUD customer and meets eligibility requirements. If the applicant/customer/organization is not the building owner, this would be considered as we evaluate feasibility of the project. 

Can a project be at a site that doesn’t currently use electricity?

No, a project site must be grid connected to Snohomish County PUD. 

Is there a match requirement on this grant, and if so, can it be made with in-kind labor?

There isn’t a requirement to match funds, however matching funds is one of the evaluation criteria for the RFA. Applicants should document all matching fund line items (materials, labor, equipment, etc.) 

How should we categorize our organization type if it is not explicitly listed in the online survey on Question 7?

In the online survey, select the organization type that most closely matches your business. Any additional clarification can be provided in the Description of Organization narrative in Question 12. 15. 

Can I submit my online survey in Word format?

No, all Preliminary Applications must be submitted through the online portal. If Page 2 of 3 Question & Answers for Planet Power Grants, Request for Applications (RFA) Preliminary Application Round – February 2019, you have typed up the responses to the survey in Word, you can copy and paste them into the online version of the survey. 

Do you have a budget amount for the grants that we should work with?

Grants are expected to range in value from approximately $40,000-$100,000, however, allocation of funds depends on the quality and number of applications received. Project cost effectiveness is one of the evaluation criteria for the RFA. 

Due to a building’s historical relevance, we may not have as much flexibility with regard to changing the appearance of the building. However, there are certain areas in the building where solar panels could be installed. Due to possible restrictions, would we still be eligible to apply?

The installation must meet Solar Express technical requirements. Project feasibility is one of the evaluation criteria for the RFA. 19. 

Can we piggy-back renewable energy demonstrations with some of our existing, science-based educational programs?

Yes, the Planet Power education and outreach component can be incorporated into existing educational programs and should be described in your Narrative Applicant Statement. 

Our facility is in need of a roof replacement, and we are close to finding a solution for its upgrade. Incorporating solar panels as part of the roof upgrade is a strong possibility. Would this impact our eligibility?

The Planet Power grant evaluation would isolate the solar system for all criteria including cost-effectiveness. A remaining roof life of at least 15 years is required for rooftop installations. The project and the solar system installation must be completed by December 2019.

Related Documents


Erika Coveny 425-783-1906