The District of Columbia Housing Authority is planning to use some of its Solar for All grant funds for the Parkway Overlook redevelopment project.

The DCHA Board of Commissioners approved using up to $2 million of the Solar for All grant monies towards the project. The $5 million grant, awarded by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment, is part of a larger program that aims to reduce electric bills by 50 percent in some 100,000 low-income District households by 2032.

“DCHA is self-developing Parkway Overlook and, with the board’s approval, we found a creative way to finance this solar project through solar tax credits, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and the DOEE grant,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “Since we are using a grant and equity to fund this system, this is a debt-free innovation towards a more healthy and sustainable community.”

The project is designed to have 2,400 solar panels and three batteries for storage that will cost an estimated $2.5 million. Panels will be on rooftops, as well as in a solar farm on the property. Batteries will be kept in some of the buildings’ basements.

“These panels will generate enough energy to support 30 percent of the energy used at Parkway Overlook,” said DCHA Board of Commissioners Chairman Neil Albert. “And in the event of a power outage, there will still be enough power for the community center and rental office to stay fully powered for the community’s use.”

The solar model is estimated to have a 700,000 kWh per year reduction in energy bills, or about $80,000 less per year in energy credits from Pepco. Some of the power generated and stored in batteries will be sold back to the grid, generating additional income.

The DCHA Board of Commissioners approved using up to 55 project-based vouchers for the 220-unit Southeast complex in October. Project-based vouchers provide a subsidy that stays with the building and does not travel with the renter.

The gut rehabilitation of the complex, which is close to the Congress Heights Metro station, will deliver one-, two-, and three-bedroom units and all will be affordable to people making up to 50 percent of the area median income or about $54,600 for a family of four. All two-and three-bedroom units will include a second bathroom, according to plans. There also will be units for the disabled.

The entire complex also is slated to receive new heating and cooling system, appliances, electrical systems, kitchens, and bathrooms. The leasing office will move to a more welcoming location. The community building, including a fitness room, business center, multi-purpose room, and a kitchen, will be improved, according to plans.

DCHA is carefully moving forward with the planning process and is working with the city to bring the property online. Next steps for the complex, located at 2841 Robinson Place, S.E., include finalizing financing and securing permits to begin construction in 2018.  


Last modified: 11/21/2017 2:47:46 PM