Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off #EarthWeekDC with a ribbon cutting at HD Woodson High School in Ward 7 to celebrate the launch of one of the largest municipal on-site solar projects in the country. HD Woodson is one of roughly 50 District government facilities with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. With a combined 670 kilowatt (kW) solar roof and parking lot installation, the solar PV system at HD Woodson is the most powerful solar power generating system in the District.
“My Administration has vowed to uphold the goals of the Paris Climate Accord and power District government facilities with 100% renewable energy.” said Mayor Bowser. “The HD Woodson solar installation is a tremendous example of how we are not only living up to our commitment, but also taking monumental steps toward becoming the sustainable capital of the world.”
Together, solar arrays on the 50 government sites, including schools, recreation centers, MPD facilities, as well as a hospital and warehouse, generate more than 11 megawatts of solar electricity.
During her first year in office, Mayor Bowser signed the largest 20-year wind power purchase agreement (PPA) of its kind ever entered into by an American city. As a result, 30% of District government’s electricity needs are being met with clean energy from a regional wind farm. Since then, District government entered into two large-scale solar PPAs that together represent one of the largest municipal onsite solar projects in the United States. These monumental projects, managed by the Department of General Services (DGS), are part of Mayor Bowser’s strategy to power District government facilities with 100% renewable energy.
The solar PPAs require relatively little District government capital upfront. In addition, over the agreements’ 20-year terms, the PPAs save DC taxpayers an estimated $25 million, invest $25 million in the local economy, and support more than 190 green jobs.
“DGS has aligned its work with Mayor Bowser’s vision to ensure that DC continues to be the greenest city in the world. Our collaboration to build Public-Private Partnerships helps us achieve our goals and make the best use of taxpayer dollars”, says Greer Johnson Gillis, Director of DGS.
DGS partners invested close to $35 million in this project, including for labor and materials. Leading partners include WGL Energy Systems and Standard Solar, as well as Bluefin / Lightbox Energy, DC Solar JV (which includes PEER Consultants and Solar Park USA), Sol Systems, M+W Group, WDC Solar, and New Columbia Energy along with nearly a dozen construction groups.
Mayor Bowser has declared this #EarthWeekDC by launching a series of events that celebrate Earth Day as well as highlight her administration’s progress in making DC the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States.