Silver Spring, MD, August 17, 2021 — On August 17, Groundswell, in partnership with the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County and Montgomery County Green Bank, celebrated with a ribbon cutting for Montgomery County's first community solar project built to serve low- and moderate-income households. Conventional solar projects often include financial barriers such as high consumer credit scores and long-term contracts that limit solar access to the affluent. The Paddington Square community solar project breaks down all the barriers.
“We are excited to see this equitable community solar project come online to offer the opportunity for all residents to have access to renewable energy,” said Tom Deyo, CEO of the Montgomery County Green Bank. “The collaboration with Pepco, the County, and the project partners has made this effort possible to deliver benefits to County residents and to support the County’s drive to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.”
The community solar project at Paddington Square is part of Maryland’s community solar pilot program, which includes dedicated solar capacity for projects that serve LMI residents. The project is being constructed by Maryland Black-owned solar EPC, SunCatch Energy, and is financed by SunLight General Capital, a woman-led clean energy investment firm; and was developed by Groundswell, a DC-based nonprofit that will also enroll and support the project’s subscribers.
By using Groundswell’s innovative SharePowerTM model, the project equitably expands solar access by putting income-qualified households first to receive solar savings. As a result, 28 “Empowered” households can enroll in SharePower and receive a no-cost community solar subscription to cut their electricity bill in half.
The Paddington Square community solar project will also offer 63 subscriptions to local households who want to be a part of an equitable clean energy future for Montgomery County. Any Maryland resident who receives a Pepco utility bill can sign up, and everyone who subscribes will receive a monthly credit on their Pepco bill.
“Solar energy is abundant, and community solar is a perfect way to equitably share power and savings with our neighbors,” commented Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore.
To sign up for the Paddington Square community solar project or to inquire about an Empowered subscription, please visit sharepower.groundswell.org.
About Groundswell: Groundswell is a 501c3 nonprofit that builds community power through equitable community solar projects and resilience centers, clean energy programs that reduce energy burdens, and pioneering research initiatives that help light the way to clean energy futures for all. Groundswell leads clean energy programs and projects in six states including the District of Columbia, including serving more than 4,000 income-qualified customers with more than $1.85 million per year in clean energy savings. Learn more at Groundswell.org or @grndswell.
About the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County: The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) was established in 1974 to better respond to the County’s need for affordable housing. HOC is authorized to acquire, own, lease, and operate housing; to provide for the construction or renovation of housing; obtain financial assistance from any public or private source to assist its housing activities; and arrange for social services, resident services and day care.
About the Montgomery County Green Bank: The Montgomery County Green Bank is a publicly-chartered nonprofit dedicated to accelerating affordable energy efficiency and clean energy investment in Montgomery County, MD. They partner with the private sector to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusively prosperous, resilient, sustainable, and healthy community. Their work supports Montgomery County’s goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.