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DOEE Announces $12,750,000 for Innovative program to Incentivize Cost-Effective Green Infrastructure

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – May 10, 2016 — The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) seeks eligible entities to assist with the development and implementation of a Stormwater Retention Credit (SRC) Purchase Agreement Program.  The Program will give property owners and others who voluntarily install runoff-reducing green infrastructure the option to sell SRCs from these projects to DOEE. Only new green infrastructure projects within the roughly 2/3 of the city that drains without treatment to District waterbodies will be eligible.

The SRC Purchase Agreement Program builds on the innovative SRC trading program DOEE established as part of the stormwater management regulations that took effect in January, 2014.  Under these regulations, large development sites must reduce stormwater runoff, but can comply with half of their obligation by buying SRCs from voluntary green infrastructure projects.  Through the SRC Purchase Agreement Program, SRC generators will still be free to sell SRCs to regulated development sites, but they will also have the option of selling SRCs to DOEE per the terms of an SRC Purchase Agreement. In effect, this creates a price floor in the SRC market and provides some certainty about the return that an investment in green infrastructure may provide.   

“The SRC Purchase Agreement Program will mobilize millions of dollars of private investment in river-protecting green infrastructure by increasing investors’ confidence in the profitability of these kinds of projects,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells.  “Though green infrastructure has environmental benefits throughout the District, this innovative program enables us to leverage private investment in targeted areas to provide maximum benefit to our waterbodies.”

DOEE expects its funding for the SRC Purchase Agreement program to be a cost-effective investment in green infrastructure, costing less to the District than if the government undertook the work itself. This is largely due to the profit motive in the private SRC trading market creating an incentive for SRC generators to seek out the most cost-effective opportunities for installing green infrastructure projects on private and public land throughout the District.  The SRC Purchase Agreement Program takes advantage of this efficiency and adds a market-shaping incentive for projects to be located in areas that provide the greatest benefit to District waterbodies.  Furthermore, whereas DOEE would pay up front for the full 20-30 year lifecycle cost for green infrastructure it installs, SRCs are annualized, so DOEE can pay for the first several years’ worth of SRCs from a project, with regulated development sites buying SRCs from that project in the future.  SRCs purchased by DOEE will be retired to ensure DOEE funding provides additional benefit beyond that achieved by the regulations.  This allows the District to accomplish more with its limited resources and is critical to achieving the goals in the Mayor’s Sustainable DC Plan.                                                                                                            

The amount available for the project is up to $12,750,000.00.  Of this, $11,500,000 will be reserved for SRC purchases, and $500,000 is available to support technical and outreach work by SRC generators to identify cost-effective GI sites.

Eligible entities include:

  • Nonprofit organizations, including those with IRS 501(c)(3) determinations;
  • Faith-based organizations;
  • Universities/educational institutions;  and
  • Private enterprises.

Interested parties can access the RFA through any of the following means:

  • Download a copy;
  • Email a request to [email protected] with “Request copy of RFA 2016-1606-SWMD” in the subject line;
  • Pick up a copy in person from the DOEE reception desk, located at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.  Contact Brian Van Wye (202) 741-2121 to make an appointment and mention this RFA by name; or
  • Write to DOEE at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, “Attention: Brian Van Wye Re: RFA 2016-1606-SWMD.” on the outside of the envelope.

The deadline for application submissions is June 10, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.  Five hard copies must be submitted to the above address and a complete electronic copy must be emailed to [email protected].

For additional information regarding this RFA, please write to [email protected].