After 31 years of serving up ribs, pulled chicken and collard greens, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company is adding a dash of solar to its menu.
The 44-kilowatt rooftop system to be installed by autumn will allow for the usual benefits — cutting utility bills at his northern Virginia restaurant and curbing emissions of heat-trapping gases. It also puts Arlington County on the map as the first in the state to deploy innovative financing designed for businesses and nonprofits to incentivize owners and developers to install affordable upgrades to greener energy. It’s an initiative known as C-PACE, short for commercial property assessed clean energy, which is slowly catching on statewide.
The bonus for owners is the ability to improve a building’s value without being burdened by out-of-pocket expenses. Plus, participants reap the benefit of an immediate payback — lower electric bills — coupled with a payment period of up to 25 years.
“It’s very rewarding to have one come to a close,” said Scott Dicke, director of the county’s C-PACE program at Sustainable Real Estate Solutions. “The relief is palpable.”
Perhaps it’s fitting that Arlington landed the initial project as it also led Virginia in passing a local C-PACE ordinance, which it got off the ground in 2018 under the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy.
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