Sunny Awards Honor District of Columbia Solar for All Program

Sunny Awards Honor District of Columbia Solar for All Program

The District of Columbia’s Solar for All program secured the prestigious Grand Prize in the Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar. The Sunny Awards is an initiative of the National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP), a program under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). NCSP brings together stakeholders to promote affordable community solar access for all households, ensuring meaningful benefits like savings, equity, resilience, community ownership, and workforce development.

NCSP has set ambitious goals for 2025, aiming to power the equivalent of 5 million households through community solar and generate a cumulative $1 billion in energy bill savings.

The Sunny Awards, launched in 2022, recognize community solar projects and programs that exemplify best practices, fostering equitable access to the significant benefits of community solar for subscribers and their communities. These benefits have a positive impact on households, organizations, and the surrounding communities where these projects are established and operated.

DC Solar for All – Empowering Low-Income Households!

Project Name: District of Columbia’s Solar for All
Location: Washington, DC
Program Size: 30 MW
Project Subscribers: 100% residential
Year Opened: 2016
Lead Organization: District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment
Partner Organizations: District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility, Groundswell

The District of Columbia’s Solar for All program has a powerful mission: to reduce electricity bills by approximately 50% for 100,000 low- to moderate-income households (LMI) in D.C. by 2032. Presently, the program features over 160 community renewable energy facilities, benefitting more than 6,000 LMI households. These households receive no-cost community solar subscriptions, and each subscription is designed to offset around 50% of the subscriber’s electric utility bills, leading to average savings of approximately $520 per year.

To participate, all households must demonstrate that their income falls at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) based on household size.

The DC Solar for All program plays a vital role in supporting project development by offering a capacity-based incentive, capped at $1.25/Watt of direct current capacity. This incentive, combined with federal tax benefits and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), covers the costs of developing, constructing, operating, and maintaining each solar project.

In summary, the DC Solar for All program is making a significant impact, providing much-needed savings and renewable energy access to low- to moderate-income households, creating a brighter and more sustainable future for D.C. residents.

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