In June 2019, St. Luke Baptist Church in Ward 4 of the District of Columbia partnered with Groundswell to begin the installation of a 55 kW rooftop community solar installation. Funded in part through the 2018 DC Solar for All Innovation and Expansion program, a program of the DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). Construction was completed in 2019, and subscribers began to see electricity bill savings early in 2020.
This community solar project is now delivering 100% of the electricity it generates to 15 income-qualified Empowered households at no cost thanks to the DC Solar for All program, cutting each family’s utility bill in half. The resulting aggregate utility bill savings is estimated at $6,700 per year or $140,000 over the 20-year life of the project.
St. Luke Baptist Church was originally founded in 1879, and the church family has been enriching the lives of its members and community for more than 140 years. St. Luke understands the importance that partnerships can play in amplifying their good work, which is why they joined with Groundswell to bring community solar to the 16th Street Heights neighborhood in Northwest DC.
The solar project’s construction was led by SunCatch Energy, a local minority-owned business founded by Brad Boston. SunCatch Energy is known for its expertise and commitment to training minorities and returning citizens in the field of clean energy. SunCatch provides on-the-job training as well as assistance with additional education and industry certification for its employees in order to help them build the self-confidence and experience necessary to succeed.