NextGrid delivers 15 solar systems for low-income residences

June 29, 2020 | Impact Stories


By 2032, Washington, D.C., will require 100 percent of the electricity used in the city to be renewable – one of the most aggressive clean energy targets in the country. This ambitious goal is predicted to cut greenhouse emissions by 50 percent over the next 12 years.

One tool available to electric utilities serving Washington to meet this goal is Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). SRECs provide a financial incentive for building owners to install solar on their rooftops. Under the SREC program, electric utilities can either produce solar electricity themselves or purchase these energy certificates.

The city teamed up with NextGrid, an experienced renewable power company based in San Francisco, California, to install 15 residential solar systems on the roofs of qualified low-income households participating in the city’s Solar for All program. The program aims to provide solar electricity for up to 100,000 low-income households while cutting their energy bills by half by 2032. Through NextGrid, each household will have a 15-year contract to receive free solar energy.

(Learn more about SRECs.)


Fixed-term loan

NextGrid came to VCC for a $129,000 loan on an overall $233,200 project. Over the next four years, this fixed-term loan will be repaid directly from the sale of SRECs.

A single SREC represents one-megawatt hour (equal to 1,000-kilowatt-hours) of solar-produced electricity. NextGrid expects the 15 solar systems to produce 105.6-megawatt-hours annually, which should sell collectively for $43,032 per year.


Solar panels provided by NextGrid are delivering free renewable energy for low-income residents over the 15-year contracts. This clean energy solution – which is an innovative way to fulfill a city-wide initiative – will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also contribute to a healthier living environment in our communities. Helping communities support long-term energy strategies aligns with VCC’s mission of assisting low-income residents in maximizing their financial resources, and its investment helps fund an innovative approach with multiple local, high-impact benefits.

In general, Solar for All, which is run by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment, recognizes that solar systems can potentially offset annual electricity costs for residents by $500. By providing free energy, this NextGrid investment exceeds the program’s own goal, which is to provide solar electricity benefits to 100,000 low-income households and halve their energy bills by 2032.