Solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations coming to parts of DC’s Ward 5 and Ward 8

Rooftop solar panels, solar carports and new electric vehicle charging stations are coming to parts of D.C.’s Ward 5 and Ward 8, thanks to a $12.4 million investment.

The solar panels will be installed at the Arbor View complex located near United Medical Center and at the Randle Hill apartments in Congress Heights. Both properties are owned by Enterprise Community Partners’ subsidiary, Enterprise Community Development, which said the investment would bring solar energy to 536 homes and create jobs.

Enterprise’s Edgewood Commons in Ward 5 and Overlook at Oxon Run in Ward 8 will receive solar carports and new electric vehicle charging stations.

The project’s funding comes from Enterprise and the DC Green Bank, which aims to finance clean energy projects.

“Solar energy allows us to reduce our overall carbon footprint, lower energy costs and put money back in residents’ pockets all at the same time. It’s a win‐win‐win,” said Brian McLaughlin, president of Enterprise Community Development.

He said one’s amount of income should not determine their access to renewable energy.

Not only does the project promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1,794 tons of carbon dioxide each year, it will offer a new community solar program to residents — giving program subscribers a 25% discount on their electric bills.

Elise Balboni, president of Enterprise Community Loan Fund, said nearly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from “the residential sector.” She said the investment demonstrates “that a transition to renewables not only benefits our planet but also offers tangible economic benefits to residents.”

What Enterprise called “a complete workforce development program” will be offered to residents interested solar energy careers, by working with community providers and Sterling, Virginia-based installer Prospect Solar.

Work on the project is anticipated to wrap by the end of the year.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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