Thanks in part to Solar For All DC, a program of the Department of Energy and Environment, Groundswell broke ground on two landmark solar projects totaling 168kW of capacity at the 100-year-old DuPont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church located in DC’s historic Ward 7 neighborhood. The planned church roof installation is 43 kW, and the planned canopy will be 125 kW, which will be installed in an adjacent parking area. Construction is scheduled to begin in early May.
The solar project will deliver 100% of the electricity it generates to 47 low-income families in the community at no cost as part of the District of Columbia’s Solar for All program, cutting each family’s utility bill in half. The resulting total utility bill savings for participating families is estimated at $23,500 per year, or $470,000 over the 20-year life of the project. The project is expected to be completed and delivering electricity to families by early fall 2019.
Dupont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church sees its role as community solar host as both in line with their commitment to serve the community with compassion, excellence and integrity and as an opportunity to positively impact the surrounding neighborhood. “We are happy to partner as the faith community representative in this collaborative effort to positively impact the quality of life of District of Columbia citizens living in the 7th Ward with renewable energy,” said Senior Pastor Marcus Harris.
Community solar, which enables anyone who pays a utility bill – whether they rent or own – to “subscribe” to locally-produced solar electricity, is a new model for solar that is rapidly gaining traction nationwide. Construction funding for the project was provided through DC’s Solar for All program. As a result, 100% of the electricity produced by the project will be delivered to low-income households in the District of Columbia at no cost for 20 years.
The Dupont Park Seventh Day Adventist community solar project is the first of many DC-based community solar projects led by Groundswell. Founded and headquartered in the District of Columbia, Groundswell focuses on delivering community solar projects that connect solar power with economic empowerment for the surrounding neighborhood – including delivering utility bill savings to those who need it most, to workforce development, to partnering with local minority-owned businesses.