On Monday October 21, 2019, Groundswell hosted a blessing event to celebrate the completion of our 151 kilowatt community solar project located at the Monastery of Washington Province of Friars of the Discalced Carmelite. The project was born out of the Discalced Carmelite Friars desire to establish a greater connection with the community surrounding the monastery and make a positive contribution to it as part of their mission of service. The event also served as the official launch of Groundswell’s Share Power™ Community Solar Program. 

Fifty households will have the opportunity to enroll for the power generated by this project including 12 Empowered households who will receive a subscription at no cost through Groundswell’s Share Power™ Program. Empowered subscribers are determined based on income qualifications and are typically families that contribute a disproportionate amount of their income towards energy bills. High energy burdens can threaten a household's ability to pay for energy, and force tough choices between paying energy bills and buying food, medicine, or other essentials. Groundswell’s Share Power™ Community Solar Program was designed around the commitment to “love your neighbor as yourself” and allows renters and homeowners who sign up to receive locally generated solar energy and share savings with local income-qualified households. 

Fr. Salvatore Sciurba O.C.D. lead us in the blessing of the project, and there to help us commemorate the occasion were fellow project partners including SunLight General Capital, who served as project developers and financiers of the project and who will own and operate the solar installation at the monastery; and Ipsun Solar, the solar energy contractor responsible for installing the 151-kilowatt ground-mounted system which will be among the first pollinator-friendly photovoltaic (PV) projects in DC. Also there to show their support for the growth of community solar in the District were representatives from Pepco and the District’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).  

This project is the first in a series of Share Power™ community solar projects that are coming to the District of Columbia in the coming year.