Washington, D.C. Unanimously Passes Community Solar Legislation, Becomes 10th State to Establish Virtual Net Metering

1 Oct 2013

The D.C. Council voted today, October 1st, to pass the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 (B20-0057) with a unanimous vote.

The D.C. Council unanimously voted today, October 1st, to pass the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 (B20-0057).

The D.C. Council unanimously voted today, October 1st, to pass the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013 (B20-0057).  With this favorable vote, D.C. becomes the tenth state in the nation to enact community solar legislation.  Other states of note that have passed similar legislation include Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, and, most recently, Connecticut.  Through this innovative structure renters, homeowners and businesses with shaded roofs, and low-income utility customers who are unable to install a solar energy system on their roof – either for financial reasons, or because their property is unfit for installation – will be able to access the benefits of solar energy through virtual net metering.

Virtual net-metering allows for any utility rate payer with a meter located in D.C. to purchase a subscription or percentage interest in a solar installation qualified as a Community Renewable Energy Facility.  A Community Renewable Energy Facility must have at least two subscribers and cannot be larger than 5 MW.  Once a subscription has been purchased, the electricity produced by the subscribers’ portion of the solar energy system will be credited to their monthly electric bill at a previously agreed upon rate to offset their electricity demand for that given month.  Ergo, retail customers will save on their monthly electric bills by enlisting in the community solar program.

The Community Renewables Energy Act will continue the momentum generated for the D.C. solar market following the successful passage of its aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2011. This progressive solar legislation reinforces D.C.’s position as one of the strongest solar markets in the country, making the nation’s capital a showcase for solar energy.

In addition to promoting the growth of solar jobs, community solar will also help the District achieve its aggressive solar carve-out requirements. The District currently has close to 8 MW installed, only a small portion of the 250 MW that must be built by 2021 per RPS regulation. The community solar legislation will aid in achieving this goal by increasing the demand for solar energy installations, contributing to the District’s energy independence and green economy.

Sol Systems applauds the D.C. Council for their support of the District’s solar industry, and we hope this positive momentum will continue.  Developers or investors interested in commercial scale project finance within the District should contact our project finance team at info@solmarket.com.  In addition to project financing services, Sol Systems currently offers three SREC solutions for photovoltaic and solar thermal systems located in the District: Sol Annuity, Sol Brokerage, and Sol Upfront.  Please email info@solsystemscompany.com for more information.

About Sol Systems

Sol Systems is a boutique financial services firm that offers investor clients direct access to the renewable energy asset class and provides developers with sophisticated project financing solutions. Founded in 2008, Sol Systems focuses on meeting the most critical needs of the industry, including SREC monetization, capital placement, tax equity, and New Market Tax Credits. To date, the company has arranged financing for thousands of projects and facilitated hundreds of millions in investment on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, private equity, family offices and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.solsystemscompany.com.

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Anna Noucas

Anna Noucas