April 22, 2019

$4M Solar Project Creates Green Opportunities for 2200 District Residents

WASHINGTON, DC (April 22, 2019) – Residents of 12 affordable housing communities in the District of Columbia owned by Community Development and Preservation Corporation (CPDC) are going green. When a nearly $4 million collaborative solar installation project is complete, 2,200 people, including seniors, families, and disabled residents, will benefit from lower utility bills and a reduced carbon footprint.

“Regardless of income, everyone deserves to participate and benefit from the environmental movement that reduces pollution while lowering energy bills,” said Michael Pitchford, CPDC president.

Created through a partnership with National Housing Trust (NHT), the installation places a total of 28 photovoltaic systems at CPDC’s 12 properties in the District, making it one of the largest affordable housing solar initiatives in the city. A newly formed firm, CPDC Solar, LLC, will manage this network and charge 25 percent less than the District’s main energy provider.

The solar panels will reduce the bills for the “house meter” that measures usage in common areas. Together the installations will generate more than 1 megawatt hours of power each year, or more than 1,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of power. For comparison, the average single-family household uses 9,500 kWh annually.

“These savings will enable us to invest more in building improvements and our Community Impact Strategies programs, which focuses on job training, financial literacy, education, wellness, and civic engagement,” said Christopher LoPiano, CPDC senior vice president of real estate.

CPDC Solar used multilayered funding for this program. Solar Investment Tax Credits, part of a federal program designed to encourage adoption of solar electricity, will be sold to Monarch Private Capital for approximately $1 million. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) also provided a $1.2 million loan, which will be repaid through Solar Renewable Energy Credits. The National Housing Trust Community Development Fund supplied a $950,000 loan.

Additionally, CPDC was awarded three grants totaling $590,000 from NeighborWorks, National Housing Trust Renewable of Delaware, and Solar for All, a program of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment. Solar for All seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households and reduce their energy bills by 50 percent by 2032.

Five CDPC properties already have completed installations: Arbor View, Cedar Heights, Fort Stevens Place, Mayfair Mansions, and Oxford Manor. The next phase of solar installations is underway and includes 1330 7thStreet, Edgewood Commons I, II, II and IV, The Overlook at Oxon Run, and Wheeler Terrace. All solar installations are expected to be finished this summer with a ribbon-cutting ceremony slated for August.

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