District of Columbia Expands Community Solar with 82 New Systems


The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia says the area has seen a significant expansion of RPS-certified solar facilities despite challenges stemming from the pandemic and other market fluctuations. Within the compliance year, the commission approved a total of 2,337 new solar energy systems for the RPS program, including 2,077 district systems – of which 82 were community renewable energy facilities (CREFs). 

The commission has certified 10,013 solar energy systems in the district, as of year-end 2021, representing 154.7 MW of capacity. Of these district solar energy systems, 219 were CREFs – an increase of 210 RPS-certified CREFs since 2018. The report notes a total of 12,955 solar energy systems certified for RPS.

The report also shows that the commission exceeded the estimated solar capacity of 182.3 MW required to meet the 2.5% solar requirement for 2021 with total RPS certified solar capacity of 191.8 MW at year-end 2021. They assisted the growth of CREFs by finalizing a rulemaking that capped distribution system upgrade cost-sharing to an allocation at $500,000 per year. Subject to availability of funds, individual projects were capped at $25,000, or 50% of the upgrade costs.

The commission considered distribution system upgrade cost-sharing for non-CREFs in a rulemaking as well as requiring Pepco to stand up and maintain a public interconnection queue to foster transparency, accountability and overall interconnection process efficiency. This new online feature went live in late February 2022 and allows developers and customers to view information such as facility capacity, fuel type and status of the application. The commission also saw growth in solar energy facilities certified for the RPS program continued in the first quarter of 2022, with 720 new systems added (including 42 CREFs).

“We are proud of progress that has occurred over the past year. The commission remains committed to working with district leadership, as well as the community, to meet our renewable energy goals. We look forward to continuing to support and enhance the district’s aggressive climate goals,” says Interim Chairman Emile C. Thompson. Chairman Thompson recently testified before the Committee on Business and Economic Development where he confirmed the Commission’s focus on reduction of greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions in FY2022 and FY2023.

Read the full report here.

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