A new solar project at George Washington University (GW) will increase solar electricity in Washington, D.C., and provide financial assistance to low-to-moderate-income residents across the District. The university provided rooftop space on five campus buildings for solar photovoltaic panels, while New Columbia Solar (NCS), a D.C.-based solar energy company, owns the solar panel system. The D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) provided project funding through their “Solar for All” Innovation and Expansion grant.
“We are extremely excited to be able to provide financial benefits generated directly from the solar system to the residents of our city who are most in need, as well as to nonprofits that support those residents,” Michael Healy, CEO and co-founder of NCS, said. “The District’s Solar for All program is especially impactful during this time as many families across our city are hurting from the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. We believe initiatives like this can play an important role in our recovery.”
The project was developed by Community Renewable Energy, a solar developer helping low-income residents and nonprofits access solar, and Root + Branch, an organization focused on renewable energy and community development.
NCS, by way of an affiliate LLC with Root + Branch called Neighborhood Solar Equity (NSE), will disburse the financial benefits from the project to provide financial assistance to low-to-moderate-income residents and nonprofits across the District. The system, designed to have a capacity of 497 kWAC, is estimated to bring over $100,000 per year for fifteen years in clean energy savings to income-eligible D.C. residents and nonprofits that serve those residents.
“Community Renewable Energy and our team set out to develop a model for renewable energy that maximizes the benefits solar electricity can provide to our community,” said Laura Recchie, president of Root + Branch. “We are particularly excited about this collaboration because of the innovative way it shares the benefits of solar energy beyond the electricity it generates.”
“In a city that is mostly built out, we have few opportunities for generating green energy,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “GW is proving to be a leader showing what is possible.”
News item from New Columbia Solar