Metro flips switch on Solar Carport Project at Anacostia, marking completion at first two stations
Today, Metro General Manager Randy Clarke joined by TotalEnergies, MN8 Energy and city officials "flipped the switch" on a new solar carport on the top of the Anacostia parking garage, providing clean energy for homes across the region and new parking and security improvements for customers.
The Anacostia Station was the first to break ground, followed by the Southern Ave Station, both of which are now up and running with a combined 4.4 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The two stations are among four Metro facilities being transformed in DC and Maryland under the Solar Carport Project.
"We are excited to celebrate with the community and get the electricity flowing at DC's Anacostia Station. Together with the Southern Ave Station, we are making huge strides in building a more sustainable future for the region," said Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. "This innovative project is helping advance equity and sustainability, not just at Metro but as a regional partner to create cleaner, healthier communities for us all."
Solar carports are overhead canopies built of steel to support solar panels collecting sunlight that is converted to electricity. The covered parking also protects customers from the elements, and to enhance customer safety Metro installed new security cameras, emergency call boxes, improved LED lighting, and bus shelters.
Metro leveraged private investments, economic opportunities, and clean energy policies within the District of Columbia to open doors for this project. This project is part of Metro's ongoing commitment to sustainability initiatives and the 2025 Energy Action Plan, which will help advance the Clean Energy DC Plan that seeks to cut carbon emissions in half and transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2032.
"This project encompasses the Strategic Transformation Plan adopted by the Board to support sustainability and partner with the region to develop innovative solutions that will benefit our customers and communities," said Metro Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. "We applaud the talented staff at Metro who had the vision to capitalize on our existing property to create tens of millions in new revenue for Metro."
"I am thrilled about the many benefits of the Anacostia Solar Carport project that will improve the lives of our residents. By harnessing the power of the sun, 1.4 megawatts of solar energy will be delivered directly to local families and their homes, creating a valuable, cost-saving, and clean resource that our community will surely utilize for generations to come," said Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, Sr.
Metro's solar carport project is a collaboration with TotalEnergies (formerly SunPower) to install the solar paneled carports and subsidiaries of MN8 Energy (formerly Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC) which own and operate the four Metro sites. Collectively they will generate around 10 megawatts of electrical capacity. This is equivalent to generating power used by at least 1,100 homes annually,* making this project one of the largest community solar projects in the Mid-Atlantic region and the nation.
"As one of the largest community solar projects in the region, the success we're celebrating today wouldn't have been possible without the power of partnerships. This was a truly collaborative effort involving the community, local workforces, and a team of people that came together to make this dream a reality," said Bradley Dakake, senior account executive of TotalEnergies.
The renewable energy generated from the solar carports will be provided to subscribing District of Columbia residential and commercial community solar customers.
"The Anacostia Solar Carport project is a shining example of community solar's potential in the District and beyond. MN8 Energy is proud to have been a partner in this innovative and community-oriented project. We hope everything we see today inspires similar projects across the country," said Ashlee Effler, senior vice president and general counsel for MN8 Energy.
Construction is also underway on solar carports at two other stations: Naylor Road expected to be completed in the winter of 2023 and Cheverly scheduled to finish in the spring of 2024.
Metro's Strategic Transformation Plan provides a long-term strategy to reach its vision of becoming the region's trusted way to move people safely and sustainably. As a vital transportation link that connects communities, Metro's investments, like the Solar Carports Project, will impact mobility, health, equity, economic prosperity, and the overall social well-being of the region.
Click here to learn more about the Solar Carport Project and follow its progress.
*According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)