Washington DC utility offering $8M in incentives for resi and community solar developers

The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) issued two requests for proposal (RFPs) last week offering $8 million in incentives to contractors and developers to build solar projects to support one of the largest low- to moderate-income (LMI) solar energy and decarbonization efforts in the country.

The District Department of Energy and Environment’s (DOEE) Solar for All program, which began in 2016, is designed to decrease electricity costs for thousands of LMI District families through the installation of solar, all at no cost to residents themselves. Since 2019, the DCSEU has operated Solar for All, working with local contractors and developers to install solar directly on more than 200 single-family rooftops, and to install approximately 14 MWs of community solar that will benefit LMI DC residents through electricity bill credits. 

“We know transitioning to a greener economy will bring more economic opportunity for DC families and our local business community, and now more than ever, DOEE is here to help” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “Whether a single-family home or apartment unit, income qualified residents can save nearly $500 in utility costs per year with Solar For All.” 

This solar installation work for the Solar for All program comes as District businesses and residents look to weather the economic impacts of the COVID-19. The program brings economic opportunities for local contractors, green job opportunities for District residents, and much-needed savings on electricity bills for residents who need it most.

“At the end of June, more than 100,000 residents were behind on their electricity bills, many as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DCSEU. “Solar for All can bring much-needed relief to low-income residents by cutting their electricity costs in half for years to come, and the DCSEU looks forward to working with DOEE and local contractors and developers to make this happen.”

Solar contractors and developers can find more information about the RFPs on the Contracting Opportunities page of the DCSEU’s website. In its third year of operating the program, the DCSEU plans to install another 100 systems directly on single-family rooftops, as well as another 7 MWs of community solar through Community Renewable Energy Facilities (CREFs). By the end of 2021, the DCSEU’s three-year Solar for All program efforts are expected to benefit up to 6,350 income-qualified DC households, helping cut their electricity costs by 50% for 15 years.

Solar for All supports the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, which aims to provide the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low-income households by 2032. The program also supports the District’s Clean Energy DC climate and energy plan, mandating that 100% of the District’s energy supply must come from Tier 1 renewable energy sources by 2032. By 2041, at least 10% of that energy must come from solar energy generated within the District.

DC residents interested in participating in Solar for All can visit this page to find out more about solar opportunities.

Selected bidders are expected to be awarded in December 2020. 

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