2016 was a year of change and growth for solar in D.C.

By Ben Delman on January 6, 2017

Last year we saw several major changes to the way District residents consume and produce electricity. Below are the highlights of a year full of major solar news.

Renewable portfolio standard expansion

In July, the City Council passed an expansion to the District’s renewable portfolio standard. The bill sets a target of the District generating 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032. The legislation passed the council unanimously. It ensures the District will have a strong SREC market to ensure future growth in solar.

City embarks on ‘Solar for All’

The same legislation also tasks the city with expanding solar access. It will do so by installing solar on 100,000 homes. Stakeholders convened this fall to develop a path to achieve this lofty but reachable goal.

Community solar moves closer to reality

After three years of work, the District is finally poised to implement a program for community solar. This will enable D.C. residents to benefit from solar, even if they can’t put panels on their own roof.

Public Service Commission errs on Exelon, prolonging fight

March saw a major turning point in District residents’ fight against Exelon’s attempt to take over Pepco. After rejecting the settlement proposed by Exelon, the Public Service Commission developed its own settlement. Commissioners indicated that approval for the take over would hinge on acceptance of this settlement by all parties. The District government and several other parties involved in the settlement rejected the Public Service Commission’s proposal. Then, in a stunning and legally incorrect decision, the Public Service Commission approved Exelon’s takeover, based upon the settlement the Commissioners proposed.

DC SUN continues to fight this decision. We expect a hearing beginning this spring that we hope will undo the Public Service Commission’s ruling.

Regulators explore grid modernization

Exelon wasn’t the only important matter before the Public Service Commission this year. The Commission has also opened a proceeding called “Grid of the Future” that could make significant changes to the rules for distributing electricity in the District. This in turn could help or harm consumer’s ability to make use of solar energy.

DC SUN continues growth

This year saw further expansion of solar co-ops across the District. We helped more than 100 homeowners go solar, installing more than over 700 kilowatts of solar.