DC Affordable Housing Capitalizes On Solar

Washington, D.C., is joining the ranks of cities like St. Louis and San Diego in installing solar power on affordable housing developments. The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) and William C. Smith + Co., a D.C.-based real estate development and management firm, have completed the installation of a 103-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) system at Sheridan Station, a new affordable housing complex in D.C.’s Ward 8 community. The system consists of 429 solar panels, and is the largest PV system installed on a DCHA property to date.

The system is expected to generate enough electricity to offset about 30 percent of the power usage in the five-story apartment building’s common areas. William C. Smith + Co. has also applied for LEED platinum status with the U.S. Green Building Council.

sheridan-station-solar

image via Sheridan Station

William C. Smith + Co. will purchase power generated by the system through a power purchase agreement with SolarCity, which has completed or initiated more than 100 solar projects for affordable housing communities in the U.S., and has more than 120 solar projects completed or currently underway in Washington, D.C. The company recently secured investment from Google and Citi to finance its residential solar leasing and PPA programs.

“Sheridan Station is a premier sustainable housing development for the District of Columbia,” said Matt Engel, development project manager with William C. Smith + Co. “SolarCity’s support and guidance helped us complete an exemplary, energy efficient housing complex and demonstrate that green building is an affordable option as well as the best way to create healthy, sustainable neighborhoods for all of our citizens.”

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).