Groundswell is excited to announce that our SharePower™ projects at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Luke Baptist Church in Washington D.C. have been energized and are connected to the electric grid. 

Energy is essential to safety, health, and comfort — and we’re grateful Pepco was onsite to connect these solar projects to the grid. That means these projects are now providing electricity to 65 homes. These projects represent more than 200 kW of local, solar energy being made available to D.C. residents. 

In March, Groundswell’s community solar project at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was interconnected to the grid, and community solar subscriptions for 50 D.C. households were energized. Those subscriptions to this 151 kW solar project located in Ward 5 include 12 Empowered, or income-qualified, households. Empowered households receive a subscription at no cost to help them cut their electricity bills nearly in half, saving them approximately $500 per year on their electricity bills. That is more than $120,000 in aggregate savings for families over the 20-year life of the project. 

Ipsun Solar, a regional solar energy contractor that balances purpose and profits to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy, built the ground-mounted solar system at the monastery. The project is among the first pollinator-friendly ground-mounted photovoltaic projects in D.C.

Additionally, our community solar project at St. Luke Baptist Church in Ward 4 was interconnected, and community solar subscriptions for 15 D.C. households were energized in mid-February through the project. 

Community solar subscriptions for the project at St. Luke Baptist Church were made available at no cost thanks to funding by the DC Department of Energy and Environment Solar for All program, which seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households and reduce their energy bills by 50% by 2032. The program, which was established by the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, is funded by the Renewable Energy Development Fund. For more information about Solar for All, visit doee.dc.gov/solarforall.

The 55 kW solar project construction at St. Luke was led by SunCatch Energy, a local minority-owned business founded by Brad Boston.

Subscribers for both projects have now begun to benefit from local, solar-powered electricity and should begin seeing solar credits shortly. These credits will reduce the total monthly amount due to Pepco for Empowered subscribers and are anticipated to deliver approximately $500 in annual savings to each Empowered household.

Finally, we are actively monitoring COVID-19 (coronavirus) updates and have shifted to a remote schedule to safely serve our installations and the larger community. If you have any questions about your subscription, please feel free to reach out to our customer support team at customerservice@groundswell.org or (202) 505-3051.