Since 2016, New Columbia Solar has designed, developed, and operated solar projects in Washington, DC. Our team of experts and strong partnerships make it as easy as possible for property owners, both big and small, to transform their rooftops, parking garages, or vacant land into solar projects. We provide clients with low-risk income streams, solutions for roof repairs and replacement, and measurable benefits to the environment and community. In all of our services, New Columbia Solar demonstrates an uncompromising commitment to the quality of our work and care for our customers.
What We Do
Survey, Assess, & Design
We gather information to create detailed designs with measurements of the rooftop, analyses of obstructions and tree cover, equipment selections, and installation plans. Our engineers optimize the system layout for maximum solar efficiency.
Permit & Procure for the System
After designs are finalized and approved, our regulatory team submits applications for solar and electrical permits and requests. We procure and store modules, inverters, and racking until project mobilization.
Prepare for Solar
Prior to installing the solar, we will ensure your property is ready to host solar operations for the next 15-20 years. For rooftop installations, we will work with your preferred roofing provider or use our exclusive partnership with Fortis Warranty to ensure your rooftop is built to last. For ground-mounted and parking canopy installations, we conduct a thorough ground study to inform resurfacing needs and grading to ensure structural preparedness and safety.
Install & Construct
We install the solar systems and interconnect either to the electric meter of the building or to the utility grid through a transformer. We work with your schedule to ensure that our construction does not interrupt your operations.
Inspect, Operate, & Maintain
After receiving Authorization to Operate from PEPCO, our commissioning team completes performance testing. We then operate and maintain solar projects for the lifetime of the project. We monitor the system remotely, perform annual onsite inspections, and provide support to our customers.
We work with investors to raise capital through loan facilities and tax equity deals. The capital raises allow us to build liquidity to add projects to our portfolio.
We partner with our clients to share the benefits of their solar systems. We offer opportunities to create media placements, host events, raise awareness, and develop educational and promotional content for our clients.
Solar Project Types
At New Columbia Solar, we custom design the best solar solutions for commercial and industrial properties of all shapes and sizes. Our experts design systems to maximize tight urban spaces, preserve historic buildings, and integrate multiple interconnection points.
Each solar project engages our team of design, distribution, and interconnection engineers, utility and permitting specialists, finance and asset managers, sales and promotional teams, and our construction crew. Together, we’ve installed a variety of unique systems, ranging from ground mount installations to rooftop solar canopies.
Ballast Roof Mount
On flat roofs, we can often incorporate weighted mounting systems (or “ballast systems”). Rather than drilling holes, this system uses weight and gravity to stay fixed in place. This type of mounting is common in the solar industry.
Adhered Flat Roof Mount
If flat roofs are exposed to winds, we will oftentimes choose an attached mounting system. This option is a more expensive option though less prone to risk in areas where weather conditions are a concern. Installations that are attached to the roof require adhesion to fill irregularities, strengthen the attachment, and ensure all holes made into the structure are airtight.
Pitched Roof Mount
Solar projects can be mounted with or without rails, though all systems on pitched roofs require penetration and anchoring to the roof. The solar panels are attached either to the rails or directly to hardware that is bolted into the roof. In shared-rail systems, panels are clamped together to a shared middle rail.
Parking Garage Canopy
Solar panels are mounted as canopies over the top level of parking garages. These systems integrate sustainability into urban environments and provide shading to the vehicles. We work with customers to distribute the weight and find the most aesthetically pleasing solutions.
Surface Lot Canopy
Otherwise known as carports, parking lot canopies mounted on the ground provide shade to vehicles while generating clean energy. The energy produced from these systems can be directed towards a building or back to the grid, depending on whether the customer would prefer to receive earnings through energy savings or lease payments.
Ground mount systems are when solar panels are mounted to the ground with a racking system that is anchored with metal beams. While these systems are less common in dense urban environments, like Washington, DC, we have been able to fill common areas that would otherwise require landscaping and other types of maintenance.
New Columbia Solar invests raised capital and finances from our own existing operating portfolio to assume all of the upfront risks associated with the construction and operations of our projects. During the 15 to 20 year agreement, we operate and maintain the systems while providing the following financial benefit structures to the property owners:
Fixed Lease Payments: In this arrangement, New Columbia Solar exports energy directly from your rooftop into the grid. Property owners will receive lease payments for the use of their otherwise unused space.
Discounted Solar Energy: In this arrangement formally known as a “Power Purchase Agreement” or “PPA,” we provide property owners with a significantly discounted stream of electricity from a solar system hosted on the property. Typically, we’re able to offer electricity at a rate that’s typically 30-90% lower than current energy rates.
Capital Improvements: We can provide property owners with upfront capital to subsidize the cost of capital improvements. This option is compatible with both the fixed lease payments and discounted solar energy options outlined above.
Request a consultation to discover the value you can earn from solar.
- Request a free consultation. Fill out the interest form and our representative will contact you to discuss your clean energy needs and available options.
- Discover your value from solar. After evaluating your property and hearing your needs, we’ll share details about the solar design, installation process, earnings and impact potential, and more.
- Schedule your solar installation. In the following weeks, we’ll install the solar project. You pick the date, and we’ll take care of the paperwork. It’s that simple!
- Enjoy the benefits of no-cost solar!
Take the first step. Connect with one of our representatives!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we work with NCS to announce this information to our community?
Yes! We have a Marketing team that can work with you to design and share social media posts, send press releases, write case studies, and/or organize events to engage your community. Please submit this form on our partners page to make a request.
What is the difference between a power purchase agreement and a lease agreement?
If you pay for significant electricity usage on site, we can provide you what’s called a “Power Purchase Agreement” or “PPA”. Through a PPA, you will receive your electricity from us at a lower rate than what you currently pay. In a lease agreement, you’ll receive payments for your space like any other rentable property.
How much of my roof would you be using?
We tend to use around 70% of the rooftop, but every roof is different. Our designs always include setbacks from the top edges and pathways to equipment, like HVAC, to ensure the safety and access of any of your workers.
How will solar impact my roof?
We have installed solar on rooftops ranging from new construction to roofs on historic buildings that require repairs and preservation to the greatest extent possible. To ensure the buildings we work on remain in top condition, we work with roof manufacturers to keep the warranties intact and partner with Fortis Warranty to provide repair and replacement services.
How does the no-cost roof replacement work?
New Columbia Solar will finance your roof replacement and will install solar at no cost to the client. NCS will factor that price into the overall economics of the solar project.
Whom do I contact for maintenance support?
Once installed, NCS has an Operations and Maintenance team that monitors the system remotely and will only need access 1-2 times per year for regular cleaning and maintenance. If you encounter any issues whatsoever, we have staff on-call and will provide you with the support you need.
What happens at the end of the term?
If you like how things are going, we can extend the contract for a few more years. Alternatively, if you prefer we can remove the system at absolutely no cost to you and remediate the property to its original condition (wear and tear excluded).