The nations capital leads by example and offers a variety of commercial solar incentives to encourage businesses to go solar. The Washington, DC Solar for Business Program offers performance-based incentives for businesses that install solar PV systems. Incentives are based on the actual electricity production of the system and are paid out over five years. The Washington, DC Commercial Solar Grants Program provides grants of up to $50,000 for businesses that install solar PV systems. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and are paid out over two years.
Also, The Washington, DC Solar Cooperative is a group purchasing program that offers member businesses discounts on the installation of solar PV systems. Lastly, the Washington, DC Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program helps businesses finance the installation of solar PV systems through property taxes. For more information on these and other commercial solar incentives in Washington, DC, please visit the Washington, DC Solar website.
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Under D.C. law, a solar renewable energy credit (SREC), is equivalent to one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity derived from an eligible solar resource. Electricity suppliers must purchase SRECs in order to meet their compliance obligations under the law, or pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) for any shortfalls in SREC purchases. The maximum incentive is $500/MWh or $0.50/kWh. Solar-electric systems larger than 10 kW must be equipped with a revenue-grade generation meter.
Solar Energy System and Cogeneration System Personal Property Tax Credit-
The District of Columbia Council created a personal property tax exemption for solar energy systems and cogeneration systems within the District. Systems using exclusively solar energy are exempt from personal property tax.
District of Columbia Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing
The District of Columbia offers a commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE financing allows commercial and mulitfamily property owners in the district to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The program will provide financing for projects costing between $250,000 and $10,000,000; larger and smaller projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The term of the repayment is up to 20 years
Properties applying for PACE financing:
- must be located within the District of Columbia
- must not be in default, or have a history of default, on mortgage or property payments
- cannot have a combined debt limit of 90% of current value (including PACE financing)
- must have primary mortgage holders give written consent to take a secondary position to PACE loan in cases of default.