Making Solar and Renewable Energy Job Opportunities Available to Low Income Americans
New Columbia Solar (NCS), a clean energy company based in the District’s Ward 5, is now a partner to the Solar for All Program operated by the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU).
Partnership will increase renewable energy access, jobs for low-income residents
NCS builds and operates solar energy systems on rooftops and parking canopies across the District and provides the power produced from the systems to low-income residents, nonprofits and businesses.
“New Columbia Solar has the proven experience to be an effective partner on the Solar for All Program,” said Ted Trabue, Director of the DCSEU. “We are excited to continue our work with this local business to bring the benefits of solar to more DC residents.”
CEO Mike Healy, a key stakeholder in the development and passage of The Clean Energy DC Act, says the partnership will support the city’s mission to expand access to renewable energy resources in all eight wards. “We are thrilled to move forward with the DCSEU in an endeavor that will build sustainable communities in the District of Columbia,” said Healy.
Solar for All, a program of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment, seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households and reduce their energy bills by 50% by 2032. The program, which was established by the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, is funded by the Renewable Energy Development Fund (REDF). Last year, the DCSEU and New Columbia Solar partnered to bring 792kW of clean, renewable solar energy to the three schools in the District’s community: Capital City Public Charter School, Academy of Hope Public Charter School, and Paul Public Charter School. Each of the schools will receive low-cost energy for the next 15 years, saving them an estimated total of $2.24 million–savings which equate to about 40 new full-time teachers and directly translate into additional funds for school programming and facility upgrades.
In addition to schools, building owners also benefit through participation in the Solar for All Program. By leasing non-productive rooftops to solar developers, building owners can generate new revenues along with clean solar power for income-qualified residents. New community solar opportunities are helping a growing number of properties to finance needed maintenance and capital improvements.
By example, New Columbia Solar’s Ward 5 solar project at Celestial Church of Christ was installed at no cost to the church and now powers 29 homes in the community. Additionally, the NCS team recently completed an eleventh Ward 8 solar project at Altamont Condominiums. The residents received a new roof completely paid for by New Columbia Solar as part of the solar installation. They will also benefit from the electricity the solar panels deliver for the next twenty years.
“This is a premier example of how electricity generated from local solar systems can benefit our District residents. These residents will receive no-cost solar power for the next fifteen-plus years and we are really proud of that” said Healy who also mentioned the program will increase employment options in a new industry sector. “Our partnership with the DCSEU is empowering our community and increasing expendable income for families who need it most while at the same time creating job opportunities across all eight wards of the district,” said Healy.
About New Columbia Solar
New Columbia Solar (NCS) is a full-service solar energy company, based in and serving the District of Columbia. With over 40 years of combined industry experience, NCS understands the nuances of developing, financing, and operating solar projects in Washington, D.C. NCS helps businesses, property owners, schools, non-profits, and homeowners significantly reduce energy costs and enhance sustainability through the implementation of solar power. NCS’s mission is to make it as easy as humanly possible for D.C. residents and businesses to benefit from solar energy. To learn more about New Columbia Solar’s developments, visit www.newcolumbiasolar.com
About The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility
The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money. Since 2011, the DCSEU has delivered financial incentives, technical assistance, and information to tens of thousands of District residents and businesses, helping them to save millions of dollars on their energy costs. Our work is building a brighter economic, environmental, and energy future for the District.