Clean Energy DC News: February 2021 Edition

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In this Issue:

THE SOLAR ISSUE

The District has a robust solar market. This is thanks, in part, to ambitious polices and goals, such as a commitment for the city to rely on 100% renewable electricity by 2032, of which an increasing portion needs to come from local solar. Today, solar panels can be found on homes across all eight wards, on top of many of our public schools, shading the roofs of commercial buildings and even in vacant brownfield lots. With generous incentive programs designed to benefit residents across income levels, solar continues to grow. In 2020, there were over 6,300 grid-connected solar systems capable of producing more than 90 megawatts of power. More solar systems mean more jobs, and the industry is the largest energy generation employment sector in the city with 1,400 solar jobs, according to the 2020 US Energy and Employment Report. The COVID-19 public health emergency, however, has impacted the solar jobs market and this will have to be examined closely. This newsletter highlights some of the District’s solar initiatives and provides resources for residents and businesses looking to harvest the clean and dependable power of the sun.

NEWS ON DOEE SOLAR INITIATIVES

NEW COMMUNITY SOLAR SYSTEM BENEFITS 750 RESIDENTS

The Department of General Services and DOEE, in partnership with GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, recently finished the construction of a community solar energy system in Oxon Run on a degraded 15-acre brownfield along South Capitol Street, SW in Ward 8. The Oxon Run Community Solar project is now the largest community solar project in DC with 2.6 megawatts of solar capacity. The system is providing solar benefits to over 750 households within a two and a half mile radius of the project site. The subscribers will receive an average deduction of $500 per year on their electricity bills. The District Government will be hosting a launch event this Spring; more information to come! In the meantime, visit the Oxon Run Community Solar webpage or join us at our February 10 event to learn more about the project and its benefits to the community.

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3 SOLAR WORKS DC TRAINS RESIDENTS FOR CAREERS IN CLEAN ENERGY

In an effort to build an inclusive green economy and promote solar adoption, the District launched DCOutreach to find out more information.

SOLAR FOR ALL REACHES MORE RESIDENTS, ADDS 11MW OF INSTALLED CAPACITY IN 2020

To ensure all District residents can realize the benefits of locally generated clean energy, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DOEE launched the Solar for All (SFA) program to provide 100,000 low to moderate income families with solar electricity. The program creates green jobs, provides clean electricity, and saves residents money—up to $500 annually on their electric bill. Now in its fourth year, the program serves 5,702 low to moderate income households, with over 11 megawatts of new solar generation capacity installed in 2020 alone. A recent article in the Bay Journal spotlights how this program is benefiting this city and its residents.

Want to sign up or help get the word out? If you want to become a SfA subscribers, explore the eligibility requirements on our solarforall for more information. We always welcome partnerships with local groups to promote the program and recruit subscribers. Please contact katya.botwinick if you are interested in supporting recruitment efforts and helping your neighbors benefit from local solar.

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5 DOEE SELECTED TO JOIN INCLUSIVE SHARED SOLAR INITIATIVE

DOEE was one of three state government organizations to be selected by the National Association of State Energy Officials and the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association to participate in their Inclusive Shared Solar Initiative, joining Minnesota and Rhode Island. This initiative is funded by the U.S. DOE, and will provide technical and financial assistance to the District as it explores ways to expand the reach of its Solar for All program to include as many eligible District residents as possible, to provide those benefits in novel ways such as through improved climate resilience from backup battery power charged by solar panels, and to explore ways to make it administratively easier to sign up for SfA benefits.

DISTRICT SOLAR RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES

Investing in solar can be an intimidating process, but have no fear, DOEE is here to help!

  • Mapdwell - Interested in going solar, but are unsure where to start? Check out the DC Solar Tool powered by Mapdwell which provides an estimate on a potential system size for rooftop solar, as well as the cost, and environmental impact.
  • Solar Financing - The price of solar PV systems have dramatically decreased in recent years and there are multiple routes to help finance solar installations. Review the District Consumer Solar Financing Guide (also available in Spanish) for more information.
  • Informational Webinar - Request an informational session on solar for your class, neighborhood association, or community.
  • Tax credits- Congress extended the current rooftop solar tax credit incentive covering 26% of the system cost.
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OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

EVENTS

JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS

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