D.C. welcomes community solar after long wait

By Ben Delman on July 9, 2016

Residents in the nation’s capital will soon be able to sign up for community solar. This comes roughly three years after the passage of legislation enabling community solar. All District residents are now eligible to subscribe to a community solar project and have the electricity it produces credited on their monthly energy bill.
Pepco, the local utility, began accepting applications for community solar eligible projects in June and the projects were eligible to begin production starting in July.

A sticking point had been the credit rate that community solar subscribers would receive. Net metered solar customers receive a credit of roughly 13 cents per kilowatt-hour. D.C.’s Public Service Commission set a rate for community solar that is roughly half that value.

This stalled the implementation of community solar projects, as developers were hesitant to create projects that were undervalued. The D.C. Council is passing legislation to fix this credit rate issue – at least for residential customers.

Pepco has finally set up a webpage to explain the process and provide forms for registering community solar projects. These projects officially called community renewable energy facilities (CREFs). CREFs must be registered in order to take part in community solar.