DC Sustainable Energy Utility opens more than $10 million in funding for LMI community solar projects

Ipsun Solar installs a project in Washington, DC.

The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) has issued an RFP offering more than $10 million in incentives to contractors and developers to build community solar projects as part of the District of Columbia’s Solar for All program. Solar for All is Mayor Muriel Bowser’s initiative to provide 100,000 low-to-middle-income (LMI) families with the benefits of locally generated clean energy, one of the largest LMI solar and decarbonization efforts in the world. the country.

Launched in 2016 by the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and administered by the DCSEU since 2018, the program is designed to halve electricity costs for low- to middle-income DC residents over 15 years. at no cost to the residents themselves. Residents can access the program in two ways: by partnering with a participating contractor to install solar systems directly on the roof of single-family homes, or by subscribing to Solar for All Community Solar, which provides eligible residents with a credit on the electricity bill from the power generated by larger community solar systems installed in the district.

“I am proud of Mayor Bowser’s commitment to reduce fossil fuel use by 50% in 10 years,” said Tommy Wells, director of DOEE. “Our city’s significant investment in solar energy will help us achieve this ambitious goal.”

FY 2022 will be the fourth year that the DCSEU operates Solar for All. By the end of FY 2021, the DCSEU expects to have installed enough community solar to cut electricity costs by 50% over the next 15 years for up to 5,800 families. In those 15 years, these families will save as much as $40 million on their electricity bills.

“The district’s Solar for All program drives economic opportunities for district businesses, green jobs for residents, and most importantly, savings opportunities for families in DC who need it most,” said Ted Trabue, general manager of the DCSEU. “We are honored to partner with DOEE on this vital program and look forward to continuing to help the district achieve its renewable energy goals and ensure that residents of DC can reap the benefits of the clean energy -economy.”

The DCSEU is looking for contractors and developers, especially District-based Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs), to install community solar projects. In FY 2022, the DCSEU expects to allocate more than $10 million in funding to contractors and developers to support community solar installations under the program, with the goal of installing enough community solar to halve electricity bills for another year. 2,000 income-qualified families in DC. The DCSEU also plans to launch a second RFP in September asking contractors and developers to install solar power directly on the roofs of single-family homes for income-qualified residents.

Solar for All supports the district’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, which aims to provide 100,000 low-income households with the benefits of solar energy by 2032. The program also supports the district’s Clean Energy DC climate and energy plan, mandating that 100% of the district’s energy supply must come from Tier 1 renewables by 2032. By 2041, at least 10% of that energy must come from solar energy generated in the district.

Contractors and developers interested in participating in Solar for All can download the RFP at https://www.dcseu.com/about/contracting-opportunities. Responses are expected on October 19, 2021. Selected bidders are expected to be awarded in November 2021.

News release from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)

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