Washington D.C. signs 73 MW solar power purchase agreement


A 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) has been signed by the Washington D.C. Public Service Commission for renewable energy to serve a target quantity of 5% of the standard offer service (SOS) electricity supply load beginning in December 2024. The agreement is the result of a pilot program to procure renewable energy through long-term PPAs for electricity generation sourced by solar and wind located in the PJM interconnection region.

The agreement, signed with developer Invenergy, covers the sale of energy, renewable energy credits, and capacity for a 15 year term. The PPA features levelized pricing for approximately 154,000 MWh of electricity per year, representing 73 MW, or 29% of Invenergy’s solar project capacity.

The project marks another step by the PSC to move D.C. closer to meeting its 100% renewable energy by 2032 goal. “Approving a 15-year agreement for renewable energy for SOS customers is a significant milestone for the Commission,” stated Emile C. Thompson, PSC chair.

The SOS program allows D.C. electric customers to buy default electric generation services through Pepco and rather than about 45 deregulated competitive electric suppliers. About 31% of Pepco’s electricity supply sales were provided through the SOS program in 2021. In D.C., about 86% of residential electric customers buy Pepco-supplied default SOS power. Thie latest agreement is Pepco’s largest purchase of solar energy for its customers to date.

“By incorporating the long-term renewable energy PPA into the SOS procurement portfolio, we are taking direct action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the construction of new renewable energy generation within the PJM Interconnection grid region. This pilot program is the product of a collaborative, comprehensive, and transparent SOS Working Group process. I want to thank all stakeholders, including the Office of the People’s Counsel, for their input and participation,” said Thompson. “We intend to re-engage the SOS Working Group as we endeavor to continue furthering the District’s energy and climate goals by exploring the expansion of the percentage of SOS load served by renewable energy PPAs in the near term.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports Washington D.C. as having 181 MW of solar capacity installed to date, enough to power nearly 30,000 homes. It has a widely distributed mix across sectors, with significant capacity in residential, commercial, community, and utility-scale solar. The District is home to 157 solar companies and has had $430 million in solar investment to date.

Image: SEIA

In 2021, Washington D.C. had 1,055 solar jobs. It is projected to add 216 MW over the next five years, more than doubling the installed capacity across the existing 10,624 solar installations that exist today.

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