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Solar Permits Skyrocketed in DC This Year


The District of Columbia issued more than twice as many solar installation permits in fiscal year 2019, compared to last year, according to WAMU. The figure is also over three times as many as fiscal year 2015.

The main reason for the rise is considered to be D.C.’s requirement of 1.85 percent of electricity in the city to be generated from local solar power, which is planned to hit 10 percent by 2040.

The requirement paved the way for an active local market of solar systems that provides equipment for homeowners for affordable prices, as well. The solar market in the District is one of the strongest in the country, according to Mark Ballantine, executive director of Universal Renewables, a D.C.-based solar plant installation company.

“It’s taken a long time in the District for people to gravitate towards solar,” Ballantine told WAMU. “I’ve noticed a very big uptick in interest, probably in the last three years.”

D.C. ranked 15th nationwide for its solar energy capacity per capita, in the report “Shining Cities 2019: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy” released last July by the Environment America Research & Policy Center.

The city landed the first sport in the South Atlantic for solar energy capacity per capita in the same report.

“I am proud to lead an Administration that is focused on removing barriers to rooftop and community solar projects. In doing so, we are creating jobs, building a robust clean economy, and making progress toward our goal of clean electricity by the year 2032,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in June.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced its plans last summer to install solar panels at four of its facilities via a 15-year lease it is offering.

NBC 4 Washington reported on October 3 that a plan for 1,200-acre solar farm at the Dulles International Airport that is able to power 25,000 households is in the works. Dominion Energy and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) are behind the project, which is expected to be implemented in less than five years.

DC Metro Seeks to Add Solar Parks at Four Stations

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