Catholic University unveils DC’s largest solar farm

Scott Wiater and Catholic University President Peter Kirpatrick at the solar array’s unveiling ceremony.(WTOP/Grace Newton)

The Catholic University of America, along with Rockville-based solar energy company Standard Solar, unveiled the city’s largest, brand-new, 25-acre solar array located on the university’s West Campus on Monday.

At the solar array’s unveiling ceremony, representatives from Catholic, Standard Solar and the Department of Energy spoke to community members.

“What’s unique about this array is the university gets to benefit from it, but also the community can subscribe,” Standard Solar President and CEO Scott Wiater said.

“We own the solar and we’re going to own and operate the solar for the long term. The university gets some of the electricity, and then some of the community members can subscribe and get the electricity at a discount to what they’d otherwise pay to the utility,” he added.

The previously undeveloped land will now hold 13,800 solar panels.

Wiater said the 42 rows of panels will produce 7.5 megawatts, which is equivalent to taking 1,500 cars off the road. They expect the solar array to be able to support around 1,200 households in the Northeast D.C. area.

Catholic University Executive Vice President Rob Spector said the project has been in the works for about four years. He said the university was looking for a way to make good and productive use of its West Campus area.

“It’s a tremendous amount of power generation. And it will help keep our costs down here at the university for energy, make productive use of this space and also keep this land in our possession for the long term, so that when we’re ready to expand the campus, we’ll have the opportunity to do so at our leisure,” Spector said.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Grace Newton

Grace Newton is an Associate Producer at WTOP. She also works as an associate producer for NPR Newscast. Grace was born and raised in North Carolina but has lived in D.C. since 2018. Grace graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in art history in 2022.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up