DC Green Bank Closes $1 M Portfolio of Loans to Local Firm Flywheel

June 16, 2020

Steven Jumper

DC Green Bank Closes $1 M Portfolio of Loans to Local Firm Flywheel Development to Fund Innovative Solar Project Saving DC Residents Millions

The DC Green Bank, the independent District authority created to accelerate deployment of affordable private and public capital for the clean economy, has officially partnered with leading sustainable and DC-based firm Flywheel Development to fund its Solar For All installations in 2020 – a re-roofing and solar development effort focused on Wards 7 and 8 and backed by $3.2 million in solar assets. The Green Bank’s initial financing totaling $1 million closed Monday and will support 7 of Flywheel’s projects this year, including deployments at the Fairfax Village community in Ward 7, and will leverage funding from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU).

“The entire DC Green Bank team, Board of Directors, and I are thrilled to support these exciting projects with Flywheel Development – one of the most innovative companies promoting inclusive sustainable energy in the District today,” said DC Green Bank CEO Eli Hopson.

“By funding these projects we will not only help save DC residents millions in utility bills through the construction of nearly 1 megawatt of solar energy, reducing emissions by 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide annually, we are also creating jobs for residents and collaborative partnerships to help the District thrive,“ Hopson said.

Currently, the DC Green Bank and Flywheel anticipate more than $3.5 million in total electricity bill savings and Solar for All funds deployed in District communities from the portfolio.

“The Flywheel Development team is delighted to now call the DC Green Bank our partner and we are excited to deploy Solar For All resources in District communities in ways that save local households real money,” said Flywheel Development Co-founder and Principal Jessica Pitts.

As a partner with the District Department of Energy and Environment’s Solar For All program, these projects will generate enough electricity to power half of 250 low and moderate-income District households’ electricity bills for 20 years. Flywheel also uses a shared equity model to split the value created by the solar deployments with the host sites, allowing many of the sites to make needed roof repairs or replacements.

“With the Solar For All program, Flywheel is making a significant impact in our neighborhood and throughout Southeast DC,” said Fairfax Village Community Association Board Member Lemuel Walker, Jr.

As part of its commitment to swift action, particularly in response to the economic challenges caused by COVID-19, the DC Green Bank was able to help Flywheel secure a bulk purchase of materials for District projects that directly increased clean energy generation and benefits to residents by 9.6%. That benefit to residents totals nearly $250,000 in cost savings for District residents.

“Last year, working with developers like Flywheel, we installed enough community solar to serve 2,000 income-qualified District households through Solar for All,” said Ted Trabue, Director of the DCSEU. “It is exciting to see the DC Green Bank offer financing to expand this important work and we look forward to working closely with them moving forward,” said DC Sustainable Energy Utility Executive Director Ted Trabue.


About DC Green Bank

In 2018, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council passed legislation creating the Green Finance Authority Establishment Act, commonly referred to as the DC Green Bank. The goal of the DC Green Bank is to accelerate the clean economy by leveraging private investment, removing up-front costs, and increasing the efficiency of public dollars. The DC Green Bank is a critical component of the District’s strategic plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2032 and grow D.C.’s clean economy with a focus on inclusive prosperity.

About Flywheel Development

Flywheel Development is a leading sustainable urban design and development company in the Washington DC region. We are active in real estate, solar, and stormwater management infrastructure. Our dedicated team delivers path-breaking green building projects, from innovative solar projects that contribute to energy resilience to the most environmentally responsible buildings in the District. Our ability to deliver high-value solar projects is grounded in our deep understanding of environmental markets as well as our range of touchpoints between green infrastructure and real estate. Flywheel’s current development projects in the District include Truxton Circle’s Cycle House apartments and Congress Heights’ Stack Eight townhomes, the first Living Building Challenge net-zero energy homes in DC.