Solar for All Community Renewable Energy Facilities (CREFs)

The DCSEU is working with solar developers to install large community renewable energy facilities (CREFs), or community solar, on structures around the District as part of the Solar for All program. Once installed and operational, these systems can provide electricity bill credits to save income-qualified District residents up to 50% off their electricity bill each year. This allows residents who live in multifamily buildings or whose roofs are not suitable for solar to access savings from Solar for All. From 2019-2021, the DCSEU worked with developers to install enough more than 160 CREF projects that will provide bill credits to 6,000 income-qualified families over the next 15 years, saving families more than $40 million on their electricity bills over that timeline.

What is the Process?

The DCSEU issues a Request for Proposal (RFP) during the late summer or early fall for the DCSEU Solar for All (SfA) Program to retain one or more subcontractors to develop solar photovoltaic (PV) electric generation systems in the District of Columbia (District) as Community Renewable Energy Facilities (CREFs).

Sites are typically determined leading up to the proposal phase of each program year.

Benefits for Property Owners

Potential benefits to property owners include potential lease payments from the developer or building improvements such as a new roof. There is also a potential benefit to income-qualified residents in multifamily buildings if they were to sign up and qualify for a CREF subscription. This is dependent on income eligibility and program capacity. There is no automatic enrollment of tenants at any CREF site, nor can any program capacity be reserved for any tenants who do want to sign up. Other potential benefits include supporting renewable energy and a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, increasing grid resiliency, and helping low-income District residents to reduce energy costs.

“When we began to plan the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus, we wanted to do more than discover new and better ways to care for children. We also wanted to support the local community. I'm proud that we could incorporate the solar design into our campus thereby returning clean energy to the residents of Ward 4 and doing our part to support the environment."

-Kurt Newman, MD, President and CEO of Children’s National

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Get Started

The DCSEU doesn’t negotiate site leases or other agreements with property owners directly for Solar for All CREF projects. DC commercial and multifamily property owners interested in Solar for All CREF installations on their properties can reach out to the current subcontractors. CREF developers are renewed every year via a competitive RFP process. If you do not see any developers listed below, awards have not been made for the current Fiscal Year.

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