Clean Energy

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Clean Energy Program develops land access contracts (e.g., land-use licenses, leases) to support potential clean energy projects on Washington State trust lands, where appropriate. Revenue generated through these contracts helps support schools, counties, and critical services across Washington state.
DNR Clean Energy can help identify state-owned parcels that may be suitable for clean energy projects. Staff have pre-screened parcels for environmental and cultural resource considerations that could preclude subsequent project development. Developers should contact the Clean Energy Program to collaborate on any future planned projects if Washington state trust lands should be part of a larger project footprint.

The Process

Developers can use DNR’s Clean Energy Parcel Screening Tool to see if select Washington state lands may be good candidates for subsequent project development. This first-of-its-kind interactive map, which includes site characteristics and lease expiration information, is one tool to help developers consider state trust lands for potential clean energy development in a responsible manner. 
Following appropriate vetting and due diligence with stakeholders, DNR Clean Energy may grant clean energy land-use licenses for initial surveying, monitoring, and general review of a property. Such licenses are non-exclusive rights to perform activities on relevant parcels and no ground-disturbing activities are allowed. DNR Clean Energy will not grant exclusive, longer term (up to 55 years) clean energy leases until a potential project has undergone a Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination. Unless the majority of a potential project is proposed on Washington state trust lands, the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council or the county/ municipality where the project is proposed would serve as the SEPA project-lead agency.
Resource types for which DNR Clean Energy can develop appropriate land contracts or connect interested parties to other DNR subject matter experts, include:

Solar Power

DNR stewards trust lands across the state with high solar potential and access to electricity transmission. Three solar leases on DNR lands support one operating 70 megawatt utility-scale solar photovoltaic plant and two projects in pre-development. 

Wind Power

DNR manages trust lands in central and eastern Washington with significant potential for wind power generation.
As of 2024, 20 wind leases on DNR-managed lands serve portions of operating utility-scale wind plants. These projects create jobs in rural areas and can generate up to 215 megawatts of clean electricity. While wind rent revenues vary with plant production, these wind leases generate about $1 million per year for state beneficiaries.


The Washington Geological Survey maintains a geothermal resources layer on its Geologic Information Portal that interested parties can use to see and map areas of interest. Some DNR-managed lands have geothermal potential that has yet to be explored. Additional information about geothermal resources in Washington can be found here.


As a timber harvest byproduct, forest biomass is a promising source of renewable energy. A growing biomass-to-energy industry may help to reduce the fuel load in Washington state’s forests while creating jobs and contributing to the state’s clean energy economy. Biomass can also be used for biochar, products from distilling (e.g., oil), and other chemicals. Biomass contracts are typically 12 months long. For information on currently available biomass, please visit DNR’s Biomass webpage.


DNR lands may be suitable for a wide range of clean energy projects, such as energy storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Contact the Clean Energy Program to discuss potential projects.

Contact Us

Along with coordinating parcel due diligence, DNR Clean Energy can assist potential developers navigate permitting requirements, if projects are proposed on Washington state lands. For clean energy developers not accustomed to doing business in Washington state, DNR Clean Energy Staff can provide further information about relevant Evergreen State incentives and general awareness of the State’s clean energy siting regulatory landscape.
Please check out the Related Links for more details and don’t hesitate to email us via our DNR Clean Energy mailbox.