WASHINGTON, DC – Today, representatives from District government, the business community, and high school students gathered to preview the DC Water Brentwood Reservoir Community Solar installation that is currently under construction. The community solar project led by NHT Ingenuity Power (a joint venture of National Housing Trust and Urban Ingenuity) at DC Water’s Brentwood Reservoir, is one of the largest in the District and will provide bill credits to more than 500 income-qualified families through Solar for All when complete.
“With the addition of this solar facility, residents in Ward 5 join the more than 8,000 District households that receive solar benefits the Solar for All program,” said Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells. “The Solar for all program plays a critical role in the District’s transition to clean energy and with our continued partnership with DCSEU, this helps the Bowser Administration achieve the District’s climate goals while ensuring that all District households benefit from the clean energy transition."
The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) works in partnership with DOEE on the Solar for All program and is working with solar developers like NHT Ingenuity Power to develop large community solar projects throughout the city. Since 2019, the DCSEU has worked with local developers and contractors to develop more than 180 Solar for All Community Solar installations that will serve more than 6,000 income-qualified DC families over the next 15 years.
“We are incredibly proud to work with NHT Ingenuity Power, DC Water, and all the partners who are making this project a reality,” said Brandon Bowles, Interim Managing Director of the DCSEU. “Solar for All is bringing significant benefits to families in DC, creating jobs and economic opportunity for local contractors, and demonstrating what can be accomplished through partnerships here in the District.”
This Solar for All project is unique. It is using the land over DC Water’s Brentwood Reservoir, thanks to an innovative partnership between the DCSEU, DC Water, NHT Ingenuity Power, NEO Energy, Working Power, and Sunlight General Capital.
“This homegrown local partnership is leading the way in making community solar an engine of economic opportunity as it builds healthier neighborhoods and climate resilience,” said Bracken Hendricks, co-founder and Managing Partner of Urban Ingenuity. “This incredible project is putting almost two megawatts of clean energy on the District of Columbia grid, to save money for local families and help low-income utility customers, it is also a catalyst for the first investment of the Working Power Impact Fund to advance local ownership of justice centered community solar assets nationally.”
Priya Jayachandran, CEO of the National Housing Trust (NHT), added, “This project embodies NHT’s commitment to equitable clean energy solutions that share financial, environmental, and health benefits with all DC residents. When our Brentwood Reservoir project connects to the grid, NHT will have helped drive 10.57 MW of solar power to affordable housing residents, owners, and buildings across the District. We are grateful for our continued partnership with DC Water, DC DOEE’s Solar for All program, and DCSEU to advance an equitable carbon-neutral future.”
The site is an 18-acre property occupied by an operational reservoir, which supplies water to the District of Columbia. The reservoir is an underground reinforced concrete structure for potable water storage and was first put into service in 1959. It has a capacity of approximately 25 million gallons. The 1.8MW solar installation will use approximately 4,000 solar panels, some installed on the reservoir cap and some ground mounted on the southern facing slope. The system is estimated to produce over 2.5 Million kWh/year that will provide bill credits through Solar for All to more than 500 low- to moderate-income DC households.
“DC Water is committed to ensuring utility bills are affordable for all District residents, and this project is a great step in that direction with the direct assistance it provides for more than 500 families,” said Maureen Holman, Vice President of Shared Services at DC Water. “It will also generate a new source of guaranteed non-ratepayer revenue for the Authority over the next 20 years, and that will benefit all of our customers.”
Students from KIPP DC College Preparatory’s STEM program joined the event to learn about renewable energy in DC, how these community solar installations operate, and about opportunities in green industries as they approach graduation. With programs like Solar Works DC, Train Green, and the DCSEU’s Workforce Development program, there are significant opportunities in the District to gain skills and work in the clean energy industry.
"We're grateful for our students to get hands on knowledge of the green economy. As we prepare them to become tomorrow's leaders, it's vital they understand how to protect our planet and leave their mark," shared KIPP DC College Preparatory principal Stephanie Young.
About Solar for All
The goal of the Solar for All program is to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low- to moderate-income families in all neighborhoods in the District of Columbia. The DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is partnering with organizations across the District to install solar on single family homes and develop community solar projects to benefit renters and residents in multi-family buildings. Solar for All participants can see a 50% savings on their electricity bill over 15 years.
About the DCSEU
The District of Columbia’s Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money. Since 2011, as a contractor to DOEE, the DCSEU has delivered financial incentives, technical assistance, and information to tens of thousands of District residents and businesses, helping them save more than $1.4 billion in lifetime cost savings. Its work is building a brighter economic, environmental, and energy future for the District. The DCSEU currently operates the Solar for All program under contract to DOEE. For more information, visit www.dcseu.com.
About Urban Ingenuity:
Urban Ingenuity (UI) is a DC-based developer, financier, and owner of clean energy infrastructure at the building and community scale. UI unites project finance, energy analytics, and public policy knowledge to deploy capital into innovative renewable energy projects like the Brentwood Reservoir project. Through its advisory and solar project development with affordable housing owners and NGOs, UI has overseen, advised, and directly invested in $125M in equitable clean energy. UI developed, launched, and administered the DC PACE financing program -- the leading DC municipal clean energy finance program. Through its Working Power Impact Fund (WPIF), UI works nationally to center racial and economic justice and local ownership in the development of climate-resilient solar projects.
About National Housing Trust (NHT)
National Housing Trust (NHT) creates and preserves affordable homes to provide opportunity, advance racial equity, reduce economic disparities, and strengthen community resilience. Through practice and policy, we are the only organization whose climate strategy is exclusively focused on integrating residents and the affordable housing building stock into solutions. Since NHT-Renewable was created in 2014, we have partnered with affordable housing owners across the country to co-develop, finance, install 13MW of renewable energy projects. Our expertise in affordable housing and track record developing portfolio-level solar installations have generated $26.3M in property and resident savings, impacted over 11,800 low-income households, and reduced emissions by 330,946 metric tons.