Dupont Commons


510 kW

System Size


455 MT

of Carbon
Emissions (Equivalent)



Tree Seedlings, Grown
For 10 Years (Equivalent)

When Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)’s efforts led to the development of the Dupont Commons affordable housing complex 15 years ago in the Fort Dupont neighborhood of Southeast DC, housing density required that a substantial parcel be left open to meet building codes and zoning restrictions. Despite the land not being suitable for development, the parcel has still required basic maintenance, accrued stormwater management fees, and ongoing cleanup of garbage and illegal dumping. In an effort to not only reduce the financial impact of that parcel, but also to bring renewable energy to its low income community, WIN assisted Dupont Commons in partnering with the Community Purchasing Alliance Cooperative, Enflection, and New Columbia Solar (NCS) to complete a 510 kW ground mount on the vacant land.

This solar development is a win-win for the community: providing long term revenue in the form of lease payments to the Homeowners’ Association while also providing free, clean energy to the income-eligible residents of the community. The energy from a system of this size has the potential to power over 80 homes and on average, provides savings of more than 50% to the electricity bills of each subscriber. This project came at no cost to the Dupont Commons community thanks to grant funds received through the Solar For All program, established by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) in 2017 and currently operated by the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU).

In order to construct this ground-mounted solar system, New Columbia Solar had to perform a significant level of analysis on the land to ensure the proper sediment control and safe installation. NCS also had to engage in significant site preparation of the over 3 acres of uneven terrain available for the array, including soil erosion prevention and sediment control in addition to vegetation removal. The local expertise of NCS’s D.C. based team allowed for a successful and smooth installation of this complex project.

By installing solar directly on single-family rooftops as well as developing large community solar projects, the District is working towards its goal of achieving 100% of it’s energy from renewables and cutting 100,000 low- to moderate-income households’ electricity bills in half by 2032. The District is a trailblazer when it comes to clean energy, particularly in benefiting low-income residents. By developing solar in DC, New Columbia Solar is enabling the vision of the policy to come to fruition.


New Columbia Solar was pro-active in negotiating with Pepco with respect to payment for leasing the land for the solar farm. NCS was able to obtain the necessary permits and releases to allow for the construction on a parcel dedicated to being open space. The design of the solar farm makes good use of the space available. Construction itself was done efficiently. At all times NCS was responsive to inquiries and coordinated the project well.

John More