Enterprise Community Partners and DC Green Bank have invested $12.4 million to install 2.2 MW of solar panels at four affordable housing properties in Washington, D.C.
The properties are owned by Enterprise’s subsidiary Enterprise Community Development, the fifth largest nonprofit housing provider in the United States and the solar project developer. Funded by DC Green Bank and Enterprise’s community development financial institution, Enterprise Community Loan Fund, along with Enterprise’s capital subsidiary, Enterprise Community Investment, the investment will bring solar energy to 536 homes while supporting job creation in D.C. The investment is further supported by Solar Revenue Put production insurance from kWh Analytics, enabling Enterprise to deploy more capital with lower financing risk.
“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. “Access to renewable energy should not be determined by income level. We’re proving that piece by piece as we bring solar power to every Enterprise property.”
Underscoring Enterprise’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, the solar panels are expected to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of up to 1,794 tons of carbon dioxide each year. In addition to the environmental benefits, a new community solar program will be offered to residents, providing subscribers a 25% discount on their electric bills. Enterprise Community Development, working with local community providers and installer Prospect Solar, will also offer a complete workforce development program to residents interested in a career in solar energy.
“Nearly 20% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from the residential sector, which is why one of our main priorities as an organization is to build climate resilience in our communities,” said Elise Balboni, president of Enterprise Community Loan Fund. “With this investment, we’re demonstrating that a transition to renewables not only benefits our planet but also offers tangible economic benefits to residents.”
DC Green Bank supported the project with $3.75 million in affordable construction financing. Solar and renewable energy is one of the bank’s core investment areas, and the emphasis within this project on bringing renewable energy to affordable housing properties was critical to closing the deal.
“We know that a clean, renewable and affordable future for the District will require portfolios of projects like this to be replicated citywide,” said Brandi Colander, chair of the DC Green Bank board of directors. “We are proud of this partnership with Enterprise and hope that this effort will showcase the role that green banks play in transforming communities so that the benefits of renewable clean energy are delivered equitably and support affordable housing.”
Rooftop solar panels will be installed at the Arbor View and Randle Hill apartment communities in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8. Solar carports and new electric vehicle charging stations will also be installed at The Overlook at Oxon Run in Ward 8 and Edgewood Commons in Ward 5.
This initiative marks the second phase of a long-term effort to install solar panels across Enterprise Community Development’s entire portfolio. When complete, more than 3,000 of Enterprise’s affordable housing units will benefit from solar power.
— Solar Builder magazine