Solar for All Community Solar Facilities
Commercial and Multifamily Property Owners Are Installing Large Solar Projects that Benefit the Community and Their Business
Through Solar for All, a Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) program, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) is working with local solar developers to design and install large community solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on commercial and multifamily properties around the District. These systems produce electricity that is used to cut bills in half for income-qualified DC residents. Find out how you can work with a developer to install a system on your property in DC.
That Generates Benefits for the Community and Your Business
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 2019-2020, the DCSEU worked with developers to install enough more than 130 CREF projects that will provide bill credits to 4,000 income-qualified families over the next 15 years, and that work will continue in 2021.
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
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. Please note: the DCSEU is currently in the process of evaluating proposals to select FY 2022 Solar for All CREF subcontractors and projects.