Catholic University of America having 7.4-MW Community Solar array planted on D.C. Campus

March 22, 2022
The project is projected to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 7.115 metric tons annually. The campus already has 2,700 solar panels

Standard Solar will build a 7.4 MW community solar array on The Catholic University of America’s campus in northeast D.C.

The solar array will be installed at the west campus of the University that is mainly used for campus operations, like tree nursery and staging areas for infrastructure projects. Standard Solar will own, operate and maintain the system.

The project will generate approximately 10,000 MWh of solar energy annually, making a considerable contribution to D.C.'s 100% renewable energy goal by 2032 and carbon neutrality goal by 2050.

“Catholic University is showing tremendous leadership with this innovative solar project to bring clean energy to the region,” Standard Solar’s Director of Business Development John Finnerty said. “The project goes beyond expanding the University’s sustainability initiatives and environmental stewardship to directly creating benefits for the Washington, D.C. community and generations of students.”

It will be the largest urban community solar array in the Washington metropolitan region, according to Standard Solar. The project will provide residents, non-profit organizations and businesses access to locally generated, renewable energy through the D.C. community solar program.

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The project may also provide educational opportunities to students who will be able to learn about sustainability and environmental stewardship via field trips, STEM projects and web-based energy production monitoring tools.

The project is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 7.1 metric tons annually. Construction is expected to start this year.

The campus already has 2,700 solar panels, four LEED-certified buildings, EV charging stations, solar carports, and a central hot and chilled water generation and campus distribution system. 

Since 2016, carbon emissions on campus have declined by 28%, and every kilowatt of electricity is paid for with renewable energy credits, according to the release. The university offers more than 150 courses related to sustainability, internships in sustainability, and is sponsoring a conference in April, Climate Change and the Future of Work.

About the Author

EnergyTech Staff

Rod Walton is senior editor for He has spent 14 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist.

Walton formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

He can be reached at [email protected]

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.