The Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C., is named for the mist and pollution that used to darken its skies. But today, two Foggy Bottom neighbors are turning to the Sun in a quest for clean power.

North Carolina solar facility (photo courtesy of Amit Ronen)

George Washington University and George Washington University Hospital recently teamed up with American University to find a more sustainable source of power.

Solar was not an obvious choice, since the city campuses don’t have space for enough solar panels. But the group found a way to get their power from a distance. And a twenty-year fixed price made the option even brighter.

So half the schools’ power – and a third of the hospital’s – will come from a new North Carolina solar farm. Although it’s two states away, the huge facility will be connected to the same electricity grid.

Amit Ronen

Amit Ronen, director of George Washington University’s Solar Institute, says the project served several of his school’s objectives at once.

Ronen: “So having a power source that was clean and renewable, cheaper, fixed cost, all of those had positive economic values that we were looking for to seal the deal.”

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And the project demonstrates how large institutions can use their combined buying power to bring renewable energy projects to life.

Reporting credit: Evan Lowenstein/ChavoBart Digital Media.

More Resources
Capital Partners Solar Project
A Big Deal for Solar in the District Infographic
Solar Power International 2014: The Rise of Super Solar Customers (with Amit Ronen)

Bud Ward

Bud is Editor of Yale Climate Connections. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as Assistant Director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission on Air Quality, before...