Affordable Housing and Energy Resiliency

JubileehousingBlog

On May 1st, Jubilee Housing, New Partners Community Solar Corp., the Department of Energy and Environment, and Pepco, launched the District’s first affordable housing resiliency center powered by solar+battery storage at the Maycroft Apartments.

The Resiliency Center, powered by Pepco for the Jubilee community, will provide three days of power for the residents should the electrical grid go down. Maycroft residents will be able to store refrigerated medicines and will be able to do simple cooking with the microwave. Residents will also be able to charge cell phones – a critical communication tool for our residents, especially in moments of crisis.

Energy security and resiliency have become topics of interest as more and more households become vulnerable to natural disasters that can cause energy interruptions. Having a resiliency plan can bring peace of mind and critical access to power in the event of a crisis. Unfortunately, marginalized communities such as people with lower incomes are often the most vulnerable in circumstances like power outages because they rarely have anywhere else to turn.

Jubilee Housing and Pepco, along with New Partners Community Solar Corp., are working to change this narrative. The Maycroft hosts a 70.2 kilowatt (kw) rooftop solar array, which is combined with battery storage to power an on-site Resiliency Center capable of powering a community space for three days during power outages. This will provide Jubilee Housing residents with access to vital energy resources in the event of an emergency.

In addition, this is one of the District’s first efforts to channel the benefits of solar energy to residents with lower incomes. One hundred Jubilee households will be participating in this community solar program, under which they will receive a monthly credit on their electric bill, which will cut their electric burden in half.

Tommy Wells, Director of DC’s Department of Energy and Environment, spoke at the launch about the importance of projects like the Maycroft, especially since D.C. was named the world’s first Platinum LEED city in 2017

“Jubilee Housing is ecstatic to host the city’s first Resiliency Center in an affordable housing property, said Jim Knight, president and executive director of Jubilee Housing. “Resiliency is especially important for vulnerable communities that already experience great uncertainty in the course of their lives.”

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