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Office of Planning Moves to Bring Solar Power to Every DC Neighborhood

by Nena Perry-Brown

Update: The Zoning Commission has approved the text amendment on an emergency basis for the next 120 days; a public hearing will be scheduled during that time for a vote on the permanent amendment.

Could solar power soon be readily available in every DC neighborhood?

Two weeks after a community solar installation was applied for in Ward 8, the Office of Planning (OP) is proposing to make similar projects by-right across the city.

OP has put forth an emergency text amendment which establishes what a "Community Renewable Energy Facility" (CREF), or Community Solar Energy System, is and also authorizes CREFs as matter-of-right in every zone in the city. A CREF is defined as a "facility used for the generation and subsequent assignment of renewable energy generated by a community solar energy system." Examples include roof-mounted solar arrays, ground-mounted solar arrays, and solar canopies.

The zoning application cites the recent passage of the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018, which sets a goal that the entire city will be using 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2032, as an impetus behind the proposal. Concurrently, the District Department of Energy and the Environment's Solar for All program aims to cut the energy bills of at least 100,000 low-income households in half by the end of 2032.

CREFs would be exempt from being considered a "utility" use and will not factor into mechanical equipment measurements atop garages. In residential zones, CREFs would still be required to adhere to the existing height and yard standards. 

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/office-of-planning-proposes-option-of-community-solar-for-all/14988

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Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
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Turning Lemons into Lemonade
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Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
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Hitting Its Growth Spurt
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An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
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Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
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The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
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132 Commerical-Free Acres
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Radical Change Could Be On The Way

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Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
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A Suburb on Steroids
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Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
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More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
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Hyattsville
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Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
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A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
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A Town Looking For Its Identity

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DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
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Do You Know Where That Is?
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DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
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A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
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Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
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Langdon
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Michigan Park
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Rosedale
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Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

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Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
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