Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus

1,148 kW

System size

1,017 MT

of Carbon Emissions


17,261 Tree Seedlings

Grown for 10 Years (Equivalent)


325 Families 

Served through SFA program

New Columbia Solar partnered with The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus (RIC) to develop the largest solar canopy in Washington, DC. The two organizations collaborated on this project to provide a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come. The installation is 1,148 kW and will offset more than 1,000 Metric Tons of CO2 over its 20-year lifetime, which is equivalent to preventing more than 1.12 million pounds of coal from being burned.

The solar facility, which sits on top of the RIC parking garage, will also help the local community through the District’s Solar for All program. The Solar for All Program is the Mayor’s Initiative to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low- to moderate-income families in the District of Columbia, and this solar facility represents one of the largest systems in the program and will serve more than 325 income-qualified families in the District. As part of the program, each household will have their electricity bills cut in half and will save up to $500 annually.

The installation was an engineering feat, representing one of the District’s most complex solar facilities. For example, the load-bearing capacity of the concrete deck was less than the weight of the Spydercrane needed to lift and install the steel canopy frame. NCS’s engineering team had to devise creative solutions, such as using large steel “railroad ties” to disperse the load of the Spydercrane across a larger surface area. 

New Columbia Solar also worked with the RIC team to create a unique 20-year lease agreement. The structure allowed Children’s National to incorporate other sustainability features at the RIC including electric vehicle charging stations, green roofs, and other stormwater management improvements.

On April 18, 2021, the district government and members of the business community participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation. During the ceremony, Tommy Wells, Director of the Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) announced that NCS and RIC were presented with the District Sustainability Award in recognition for successfully executing this project.