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Solar Potential for Commercial Buildings

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The map below is intended to estimate buildings' solar potential in Census tracts with median incomes less than or equal to 80% of area median income.


The District has a 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (requiring energy companies to provide 100% of their energy from renewable resources) by 2032 and a 15% solar carve-out by 2041 (requiring that 15% of the electricity be from solar sources). Consequently, increasing rooftop solar energy penetration (the ratio between electricity production from solar energy and total electricity load for each day) is critical to meeting the District’s clean energy goals.

The federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) strengthened tax credits that can be used in the District to build the clean energy infrastructure needed to meet the District’s clean energy goals. This analysis estimates the potential for installation and operation of rooftop solar on non-single-family residential buildings as well as commercial and government buildings in the District using the IRA’s alternative energy investment tax credit. The Department of Treasury has released guidance for this alternative energy investment tax credit allocation for low-income communities.

Eligible allocations include deployment of solar in low-income communities (defined as a Census tract with at least 20% of households under the federal poverty level or median household income at or below 80% of state median income in that tract) or in low-income multifamily residential buildings. This tool is designed to help developers identify those Census tracts and buildings in the District that are eligible for the alternative energy investment tax credit. Census tract data from the American Community Survey's (ACS) five-year estimates for 2017-2021 was downloaded from DC Open Data.

Tracts are color-coded based on the total solar potential. The darker the tract, the greater the solar potential. Please click on the individual tracts to learn more.

Buildings are categorized by broad categories of ownership. Buildings are either categorized as “Private”, “DC Government”, or “Federal Government”. There are some instances in which more than one tax lot can overlap with the same building polygon in the Common Ownership Lots data used to classify these buildings. Vacant properties and parking structures are separated from occupied buildings. Additionally, embassies and existing solar systems are highlighted separately. Please click on the individual building points (zoom in to separate aggregations of properties) or see the legend in the bottom left to learn more.


This map should not be used as a replacement for detailed solar system potential modeling. The purpose is to estimate the potential solar capacity in highlighted Census tracts.

Financial and Tax Disclaimer

The map does not constitute financial or tax advice or services about pursuing the alternative energy investment tax credits and is not a substitute for such professional advice or services. You should consult with a financial advisor or a tax advisor before pursuing such opportunities.   

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