Facility leaders share their thoughts on what to expect this year and beyond
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Utilizing local and federal incentives, an industrial center in the Northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. has become home to one of the largest rooftop solar installations in the District to date.
Rockville, Maryland-based Real Property & Energy Solutions ran the project from design/engineering, construction and permitting, to switching on the 842.4-kW Community Renewable Solar Facility (CREF) in January of this year. The solar array, which occupies 54,000 of the roof’s 80,000 square feet, will provide annual electrical energy use for an estimated 150 D.C. homes; an offset of 1,818,501 pounds of Co2 annually. The project is expected to produce 1,164 Megawatt-Hours of clean energy.
DC Pepco customers can sign up to join CREFs, receive a portion of the facility’s solar generation, and receive a discount on their utility bills. Through a CREF, properties like this one offer an innovative way for those that cannot put solar on their own roofs to join the green movement.
Washington D.C.’s rooftops are continuing to be covered by solar panels, driven by these local and federal incentives. Incentives driving the growth include the nation’s highest Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) market and the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Along with the drive for green energy, these incentives make a compelling business case for property owners.
“As a business owner, the economic value and environmental contributions of this solar installation were equally important factors in deciding to pursue this project,” says Rusty Minkoff, a representative of the property owner. “Real Property & Energy Solutions handled every aspect of the process and delivered beyond our expectations. As a result, we have a solar installation that will benefit the environment for years to come while simultaneously producing compelling financial returns.”
In addition to the panel installation, Real Property & Energy Services retrofitted the existing 80,000-square-foot roof, replacing it with a white roof, allowing for higher reliability and cooler indoor temperatures at the property in the summer months. Cooler indoor temperatures will also lead to lower energy use by the property’s HVAC systems.
“Using rooftops for CREFs has become a very powerful tool for solar in this space, which is opening many doors to sites that were previously not interested in pursuing solar”, says RPES’s Ryan Fauquier, who ran the project.