Washington DC and Solar Energy: A City Powered by the Sun

washington, dc
  • Jul 27, 2018

Washington, DC is often in the news because it’s the nation’s capital. But, less widely known about it? It’s a city that firmly embraces solar energy. 

A recent report “Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America” written by the Environment America Research & Policy Center, ranks Washington, DC as the number one city in the South Atlantic region for total megawatts of solar energy (and for solar megawatts per capita) in 2017. The group designated Washington, DC a “Solar Star” city. 

“We are in a moment when progress on renewable energy will come from cities across the country,” said Bret Fanshaw with Environment America. “Cities like Washington, DC, are leading the way to a future powered by clean, renewable energy.” 

A City with a History of Green Energy 

DC has a history of supporting green energy sources. At the end of 2017, Washington, DC had a total installed solar capacity of 47.3 megawatts, ranking it 13th in the country. More than 45 percent of the city’s electricity comes from solar sources—a staggering percentage compared to many other US cities. 

Notably, every government building in Washington, DC is powered by renewable energy. The feat is dramatically more impressive when you take into account that with federal as well as municipal government buildings, DC has the most government buildings in the nation. 

Thanks to its green successes, last year Washington, DC became the first LEED Platinum certified city on the planet. Originally created for individual buildings, the LEED certification system (which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is expanding to evaluate entire cities. With DC’s increasing emphasis on green, walkable neighborhoods, and green transportation, was the first to be recognized with that honor. 

DC Mayor Bowser acknowledged the honor, and the special role the city plays in American political movements, in an interview with Solar Industry Magazine. “It is in the best interest of Washington, DC’s safety, economy, and future to take sustainability and resiliency seriously, and as the nation’s capital, we have a special obligation to lead the way on environmental issues. Our commitment to these issues will not yield, and we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more resilient, and more sustainable DC.” 

Renewable Energy Projects in DC Create a Greener Future for All 

The city’s many green initiatives from the Department of Energy and Environment, such as Solar for All, are continuing to work to improve the city’s energy efficiency, decrease carbon pollution, and increase the city’s reliance on sustainable energy. The Solar for All program recently helped launch the city’s largest community solar project at the Atlantic Terrace Apartment Complex on Third Street SE. The project will power 200 households for the next 15 years. 

Like the “city on a hill” that the founding fathers imagined, Washington DC’s success towards sustainable energy solutions acts as a beacon to other cities across the nation and the globe. Though it still has more work to do, DC is proving that success with renewable energy is possible, achievable, and can benefit multiple communities. 

CleanChoice Energy is proudly headquartered in Washington, DC, and a part of the area’s shining future! As a renewable energy company that envisions a future free from the catastrophic effects of climate change and with abundant clean air, our mission is to make clean energy accessible to all. 

We serve customers in the nation’s capital, plus in nine US states. Learn how you can switch your home or business to 100% pollution-free clean energy sourced from wind and solar power today!

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