2019 Building Tours: D.C. Solar for All

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 02, 2019

On July 9, D.C.-area properties opened their doors to 2019 Summit attendees to showcase their stand-out energy, water, and renewable efficiency measures. Below are highlights from one of the tours.

Daniel White of Washington, D.C.'s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), and Jeff Lesk, Founder of New Partners Community Solar, guided Summit attendees to the rooftop PV array that was D.C.’s first “community solar” project. Through D.C.’s Community Renewable Energy Act, the solar energy produced from this array can direct energy credits to other ratepayers in the District. Thanks to a partnership between Nixon Peabody, Brookfield Properties, D.C. DOEE, and other valued partners, a non-profit was created to produce and share clean renewable energy with low-income residents in the city. This community solar project not only provides monthly energy savings on residents’ electric bills, but it also sets an example for other businesses and helps to build community resilience

As the first project of its kind in the District, educating the community and local workforce on the benefits of shared solar energy has not only been essential to the success of this project, it has also helped accelerate similar initiatives in the area. Over the years, local integration of solar energy with PEPCO (the electric utility) and the process of obtaining permits within the city have become more efficient, thanks in part to this large-scale community solar project.

Enjoy photos from the tour below!

1. The group tours the Nixon Peabody Law Firm offices in D.C., certified LEED Platinum ID+C (you can see their green wall!)
2. On the roof the group examines the building’s PV array solar panels, part of D.C.’s largest community solar project.
3. Educational signage about the array. Educating the local workforce on the benefits of community solar has been essential to the success of project and has helped accelerate other initiatives around the area.
4. Another view of the array, which shares its rooftop real estate with a small hive of bees!