A program, known as Solar Works D.C., will install solar panels on the homes of nearly 300 low-income residents in the District.The brand new eco-friendly solar program was launched this past Monday by Mayor Muriel Bowser. The program is also supported by Bowser’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Expansion Amendment Act, which she signed last year. In a statement, Bowser said,
Last month, I signed a mayoral order reaffirming Washington, D.C.’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, and today’s launch of Solar Works D.C. is a concrete example of how my administration is taking local action to fight climate change.Yearly expenses will drop by approximately $600 for the homeowners, according to the Executive Office of the Mayor website. Solar Works, D.C. is a collaboration between the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and Department of Employment Services (DOES). [caption id="attachment_3062" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The new solar power purchase agreement, Bowser says, “doubles down” on her administration’s commitment to renewable and sustainable energy.[/caption]
The program will operate three cohorts throughout the year — summer, fall, and spring. The summer cohort was made up of participants from the award-winning Green Zone Environmental Program (GZEP). Over 200 participants of the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program will also be given job training.
The job trainees of today will be the entrepreneurs and mentors of tomorrow,” said Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. “Solar Works D.C. is providing individuals with hands-on job training experience in the solar industry, while providing renewable energy for District residents who need it the most.”Mayor Bowser added, "By preparing Washingtonians for careers in rapidly expanding green industries and making it easier for residents to access clean energy, we are taking our commitment to the environment and D.C.’s green economy one step further and modeling how cities can lead the way on this critical global issue.” [caption id="attachment_3063" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Workers put panels down during an installation in Washington, D.C.[/caption]
According to The Solar Foundation’s job census, there were 260,077 solar workers in the United States in 2016, a 25 percent increase over 2015.In 2016, there were 1,180 solar jobs in Washington, D.C. -- a growth rate of 18 percent -- while there's a projected growth of 26 percent in 2017. Sectors in need of trained solar professionals include installation, manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development, and operations. The median wage for installers in the District is $26 per hour. Since Bowser took office in 2015, more than 1,600 solar energy systems have been installed. That represents a 56 percent increase in the number of systems. Currently, the D.C. government is 100 percent powered by renewable energy. The city is on track to derive at least one half of the entire city’s electricity from renewable resources by 2032.