(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration, led by the Department of General Services (DGS) and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE); GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, and community leaders, celebrated the construction completion of the District’s new Oxon Run Community Solar Farm, a 2.65 megawatt solar installation where thousands of ground-mounted solar panels will harvest sunlight and convert that energy into usable electricity. As the largest Community Renewable Energy Facility (CREF) in the District of Columbia, the Oxon Run Community Solar Farm is located at 4669 South Capitol Street, SE which was previously an unused 15-acre brownfield in Ward 8.
“This is a project for which the District can be really proud,” said DGS Director Keith A. Anderson. “Not only does the Oxon Run Community Solar Farm underscore Mayor Bowser’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change, but this project also grows the local green economy by supporting and creating jobs. Ten local certified business enterprises helped make this facility a reality, and now hundreds of Ward 8 residents will benefit from the solar power it produces. We’re excited to support the Ward 8 community with this unique opportunity.”
The DGS Sustainability and Energy Division, in partnership with GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic and on behalf of DOEE, is launching the District’s largest community solar energy system, designed with low environmental impact and safety in mind, to provide low-cost renewable energy to over 780 income-qualifying Ward 8 residents who will benefit from the installation. Construction on the site began in December 2019. Approximately 196.5 tons of mixed refuse was removed from the site to make way for the installation of the 7,488 solar panels and related infrastructure.
The Oxon Run Community Solar facility builds upon DGS’s groundbreaking work installing one of the largest municipal onsite solar projects in the U.S. In 2015, DGS executed two major Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), which led to the installation of solar PV on more than 50 District government facilities. The PPAs are saving District taxpayers more than $30 million over their 20-year terms. DGS recently awarded a solar IDIQ contract that will significantly expand the existing DGS solar portfolio in the coming years.
The solar energy generated by Oxon Run Community Solar Farm will be allocated to Ward 8 residents through DOEE’s ‘Solar for All’ program, which provides income-qualified residents with credits that reduce their electric bills, on average, by 50% or $500 annually. The project would not have been made possible without critical support from Pepco, which authorized the solar farm to operate in December 2020. DOEE and Pepco will begin providing monthly savings to residential subscribers this spring.
To date, the ‘Solar for All’ program has served over 6,4840 households with 22.5 megawatts of installed solar capacity, producing enough energy to reduce those households’ electric bills by an average of 50%. Solar for All is the largest initiative of its kind in the nation. Grid Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, the non-profit solar installer at Oxon Run also administers ‘Solar Works DC,’ the District’s solar jobs training program. Several graduates of the training program worked on the construction team for the Oxon Run project.
In spring of 2019, the District celebrated the 100th installation under ‘Solar Works DC’, which trains future solar professionals through the installation of solar panels on the homes of low- to moderate-income residents. In total, the Oxon Run Solar Farm and hundreds of other Solar for All installations are making a meaningful impact on the daily lives of District households. These solar systems also support a range of Biden Administration climate goals, which include accelerating deployment of renewable energy, revitalizing aging infrastructure, training a 21st century workforce, restoring native wildlife habitats, and addressing environmental justice challenges.