Affordable Housing Communities in DC Getting Solar Power

Enterprise partnered with DC Green Bank on the $12.4 million investment

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Enterprise Community Partners has teamed with DC Green Bank on a $12.4 million investment to install solar panels at four affordable housing properties in Washington, D.C.

Rooftop solar panels will be installed at the Arbor View and Randle Hill apartment communities in Ward 8, while solar carports and new electric vehicle charging stations will be installed at The Overlook at Oxon Run in Ward 8 and Edgewood Commons in Ward 5. The solar projects will generate an estimated 2.2 megawatts of electricity for 536 homes in total.

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All four properties are owned by Enterprise’s subsidiary, nonprofit housing provider Enterprise Community Development.

“All the properties serve low-income residents, and our goal is to provide significant cost savings to our residents through a community solar program,” John Fox, solar development manager at Enterprise Community Development, told Commercial Observer. “Residents are expected to receive a 25 percent discount on electricity costs.”    

Furthermore, the use of solar energy reduces the need for coal-fired power generators that currently supply the regional electric grid.

“By installing solar power, Enterprise is doing its part to reduce harmful pollutants of coal-burning facilities with the objective to reduce asthma-causing particulate matter and acid-rain-causing [sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide] in addition to carbon dioxide, which is a cause of global warming,” Fox said. 

The properties selected came from evaluations of solar irradiation and available space. 

“Two of the properties have small solar facilities currently, and our goal was to maximize the solar energy potential at these locations by using carport structures that will span the entire parking areas,” Fox said. “In addition, we have two locations that will receive rooftop solar, and in our analysis these two sites offered the best potential for systems of 250kW or greater.”

DC Green Bank supported the project with $3.75 million in affordable construction financing.

“We know that in order to meet our collective climate, energy, affordability and equity goals, that homes across the city must choose solar as well,” Jean Nelson-Houpert, interim-CEO and chief financial officer at DC Green Bank, told CO. “This investment demonstrates that we can make large-scale investment in solar energy that delivers reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and reductions in the cost of living at a time of rising bills for families, all while increasing our resilience to energy disruptions and climate change, and delivering good, clean jobs right here in D.C.”

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.