Green Building, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Howard University Boosts Campus Sustainability with Solar

The future is even brighter at Howard University in Washington, D.C., now that solar photovoltaic systems are installed on six campus buildings. Led by Volt Energy and partially financed by U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance, the solar systems are roof-mounted on the Blackburn Center, Burr Gymnasium, Locke Hall, School of Business, and School of Engineering buildings, as well as atop a carport canopy at the university’s law school.

According to Volt Energy, the solar projects are expected to generate nearly 35,000 megawatt-hours of solar energy—which will avert more than 23,000 metric tons of carbon.

Howard University is one of the most prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the country. Dr. Tashni Dubroy, university EVP and COO, said, “Embracing clean energy solutions not only enables cost savings, but it also facilitates a significant reduction in carbon emissions. This initiative represents a crucial step in addressing the historical burden of environmental injustices disproportionately affecting communities of color.”

Volt Energy is a Black-led renewable energy developer and independent power producer. Co-Founder Gilbert G. Campbell III said, “As a Howard alumni, I am thrilled to provide clean solar energy to buildings across the campus. It is paramount for our company that students witness the benefits of clean energy and understand how they can build wealth in the clean energy economy.”

Impact Finance committed $2.92 million in equity to the project and provided strategic and technical support throughout the deal. Additionally, DC Green Bank financed the project with a construction loan and is in the process of closing on permanent debt financing.

“We share Volt’s passion for equitable outcomes in solar,” said Darren Van’t Hof, who serves as Impact Finance’s managing director of environmental finance. “It’s great to see our dedicated teams work through the financing and implementation of renewable energy projects and achieve these rewarding results for the university.”

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