DC Green Bank, Virginia Community Capital, and Flywheel Development Announce $1.8 Million Permanent Loan for Community Solar

DC Green Bank, Virginia Community Capital, and Flywheel Development today announced the closing of a $1.8 million permanent loan facility for a newly completed community solar project in Ward 7 of Washington, D.C. Given DC Green Bank’s status as an independent instrumentality of the District government and VCC’s status as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), both lenders were able to include innovative provisions within the loan agreement to bring down the cost of capital for the project as well as realize a reasonable rate of return on the investment, ensuring that the incoming loan payments are recycled to support additional sustainable community investments. The long-term facility will support the recently completed community solar installation in the Fairfax Village community in Southeast D.C., which is slated to deliver as much as $2.3 million in electricity savings over the next 15 years – cutting energy bills in half for more than 200 low-to-moderate income (LMI) residents across the District – and reduce nearly 1,000 tons of CO2-equivalent annually.

The permanent loan facility follows the full repayment by Flywheel of the $1.7 million construction loan deployed by DC Green Bank in May 2021 to support the community solar installation as part of the District’s Solar for All program.

Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, said of the investment, “DC Green Bank proudly supports Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) like Flywheel Development as they push forward on deploying community solar across the District, and partners with community lenders like VCC to transform our energy infrastructure, improve our environment, save residents money, and do so in a way that generates a reasonable financial return.”

DC Green Bank has a unique mandate to accelerate a transition for the District to a clean and inclusive economy for all residents. Brandi Colander, Chair of the DC Green Bank Board of Directors added, “Investments like this are a core part of our long-term strategic vision. It is critical that we invest public dollars in a way that benefits residents and local businesses, creates jobs, and scales sustainability. These strategic partnerships get us closer to achieving the District’s renewable energy and climate goals.”