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Federal funding to boost solar installations

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OLYMPIA — A $2 million federal grant to help ease installation of rooftop solar panels has brightened hopes of photovoltaic fans across Washington and Oregon.

This funding will help reduce red tape, increase opportunities for businesses and cut energy costs for thousands of households,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

The funding from the U.S. Department of Energy will be administered by the state Department of Commerce.

The state has already streamlined solar permitting for homeowners and builders by presenting standardized codes and regulations for solar installations, said a Commerce press release. In the last year, four cities — Ellensburg, Seattle, Bellevue and Edmonds — have adopted the new codes.

The DOE award includes funding to support 10 more cities or towns to adopt the solar codes to become “Northwest Solar Communities,” said the release.

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Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.