Groundswell is developing a community solar project in Washington DC’s Ward 7 at Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church which will be home to a 222 kWdc solar project providing approximately 73 households with access to locally generated clean energy.
Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church was organized in 1908 and incorporated in 1959. Under the pastorship of the Reverend Juan P. Guthrie, Sargent Memorial remains a prominent fixture among Presbyterian institutions and in the Washington DC community. The Groundswell community solar project, located on the rooftop of the church and in canopy form over the parking area will be just one of the ways that Sargent Memorial continues its mission of service to the Deanwood community.
Sargent Memorial’s solar journey to the Groundswell partnership started over 12 years ago when Sargent began investigating solar options for the church. The church initially considered purchasing and managing its own solar system, but, after connecting with Groundswell through the sole efforts of Pamela Nelson, Community Outreach Specialist with the DC Office of the People’s Counsel, the church decided it no longer made sense for the church to undertake the project with its own resources.
The solar array will produce solar electricity for about 73 local households, including 18 Empowered — or income-qualified — households who will receive subscriptions at no cost in order to cut their overall electricity bills in half. The resulting aggregate savings for Empowered households total approximately $121,000 over the 15-year life of the project.
The 222 kWdc project will begin construction in 2021. Sunlight General Capital, an experienced, values-aligned partner, is providing financing to this and other Groundswell projects in DC and Maryland. This community solar project will be constructed by Suncatch and Solar Mounts. Suncatch is an experienced, local, fourth-generation, Black-owned business with a track record of successful solar installations in the District and Maryland.
Groundswell serves as the nonprofit developer and will continue to serve the community as the subscriber management organization for the project through Groundswell’s SharePower program.