Real estate constraints, finance are key problems for rooftop solar in Washington D.C.
By Jill Schlesinger @ PV Magazine
April 21, 2017
A new report finds that the nation’s capital has the ability to host up to 2.5 GW of rooftop solar potential.

EXCERPT: By all accounts, Washington D.C. is not the easiest place to install a PV system. The nation’s capitol is a compact urban space, with 59% of homes occupied by renters.

Distributed Solar in the District of Columbia takes a square look at the barriers to installing solar in the capital, and what it would take to address those challenges. The report by the Office of the People’s Counsel for D.C. (OPC) and consultancy Synapse found that there is much work to do to reach the district’s goal to have 5% of its electricity come from local solar.

The report also put some capacity numbers on what is possible. The report gives three cases, and even its “conservative” case found the potential for 940 MW of rooftop solar, just over half of which is on commercial and industrial buildings.

“Decisions to install solar panels become more complex where multiple owners share roof space, and solar may have to compete with alternative rooftop uses on such buildings, such as swimming pools, building HVAC systems, and shared entertainment areas,” notes the report.

The report suggests that regulators could use financial penalties and incentives to get PEPCO to achieve solar targets, including speeding interconnection timelines.