Benning Park Apartments

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New Community Solar Project Means Discounted Energy for 400 D.C. Residents

New roofs, clean energy and lower electricity bills. These benefits are going toward the residents and building owner of Benning Park Apartments thanks to the latest community solar installation from SaveSolar, a Washington, D.C.-based company. As the project’s developer, owner and operator, SaveSolar led the $3 million effort, all with no out-of-pocket costs for the building owner, who now enjoys a new revenue stream — and new roofs — from simply leasing out their roof space to SaveSolar.

The clean energy generated each year by the installation — about 882,726 kilowatts hours — is provided to District residents for free, and ensures that about 400 low and moderate-income D.C. residents receive 50% off their energy bills for 15 years, through funding from the Department of Energy and Environment’s Solar for All program.

The prime challenge was in designing and interconnecting the solar systems spanning 19 rooftops across three properties, holding more than 1,700 new solar panels. SaveSolar worked diligently to engineer a project with three different interconnections and worked with PEPCO to ensure they were all energized.

“SaveSolar has quickly become a goto partner for Dantes Community Partners and the Dumas Collective. SaveSolar helped us develop a customized strategy to serve our clients, whereby they installed a solar solution that brought upfront revenue to the ownership, lowered the utility costs for each resident and skillfully made critical roof repairs.”
Sharif Mitchell Operating Principal, Dantes Community Partners

Raising the roof for clean energy

A rooftop covered in heating and air-conditioning units is not ideal for solar panels, but with a clever canopy system, that’s a problem of the past.

The canopy system we used (made and installed by Universal Renewables), allows the rooftop to generate significantly more energy than it would’ve without the canopy — meaning we saved the building owner more money on energy bills for the next 20 years. While most solar providers don’t offer rooftop canopy systems because it cuts into their margins, SaveSolar knew that a canopy was the best option and provided one at no cost to the building owner.

We welcome discussions with developers to assess your project for inclusion as part of the Solar for All program, and to leverage our proven experience for your success.

“We’re proud to be partnering with Universal Renewables to utilize their innovative canopy solution — these systems minimize the need for upfront roof repair and maximize solar benefits back to residents.”
Karl Unterlechner, Chief Executive Officer, SaveSolar

Solar for All

The District's Solar for All program aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low to moderate-income families in the District of Columbia. Those who qualify will receive up to 50% off their electric bills.

The clean energy generated by SaveSolar's projects not only makes it possible for more D.C. residents to qualify for Solar for All, but SaveSolar is also knocking on doors and helping residents enroll in this innovative program.

"We are pleased to work with developers like SaveSolar on the Solar for All program. Projects like the one at Benning Park bring us closer to the goal of cutting electricity bills in half for 100,000 income-qualified families through Solar for All," said Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), which manages Solar for All in partnership with the District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE).

For multi-family developers with income-qualified residents, SaveSolar is one of the few companies able to submit projects to the DCSEU and deliver the energy at no-cost to qualified District residents. SaveSolar has been an active participant of the Solar for All program since 2018, having successfully developed over 2.5 MWs to the District's Solar for All program to date.

About Us

SaveSolar is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that specializes in developing community solar assets. We work with building owners to finance and build solar assets, then compensate the building owners with long-term revenue and generate that solar energy back into the utility. This energy is then provided at a discount to residential, low-income community subscribers. Our mission is to help the District reach its renewable energy goals and to lower the cost of electricity. The SaveSolar executive leadership team has over 60 years of combined experience in renewable energy markets in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. We have diversified experience across construction, finance, project management, technology and sustainability.

Project Success Metrics

Project Information
Project size = 700.80kW DC
Number of panels = 1,752
SolarEdge Inverters = 7
SolarEdge Optimizers = 886
Customer Benefits
Customer out-of-pocket = $0
Property renovation = $3 million
Construction time = 5 months
New & immediate revenue
Community Solar Benefits
Resident savings = 50% on their electric bills
Offset emissions of using nearly 1,500 barrels of oil
D.C. households powered per year = 104
Gets D.C. closer to its ambitious clean energy goals

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