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CES Blog

CES Dulles Airport Helps Community Apartment Complex

  • May 2, 2019
  • Written By: Brooke Williams
  • No Comments

[Sterling, Virginia] — The Dulles Airport branch of City Electric Supply had the opportunity to partner with Jubilee Housing, Pepco/Exelon, SunCatch Energy, and other local companies by creating an energy storage microgrid that will bring power to the first resiliency center in Washington, D.C. for three days under extreme weather conditions or emergencies.

On May 1, Jubilee Housing held a ribbon cutting for the Maycroft Apartments, an affordable housing complex that supports 64 families and individuals. Jubilee Housing, a people-focused, place-based, and partnership-driven organization, also includes services to assist the families and individuals in the community.

The Maycroft Apartments will feature a Teen Drop-In Center and Family Resource Center, as well as programs from Martha’s Table, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support strong children, strong families, and strong communities with access to better education, healthier foods, and family and community support. Martha’s Table includes access to McKenna’s Wagon, a program that will serve hot, healthy meals for individuals at no cost.

Affordable Housing Crisis

 Today, low- and moderate-income families are being pushed out of Washington, D.C. due to the lack of affordable housing, which could impact thousands of families in the area.

As new residents move into the city, many residents are being pushed out by the rising housing costs. With rent increasing, low-income families are forced to decide between spending their money on rent or groceries to keep food on the table.

The affordable housing crisis has a massive impact on millions of citizens across the United States, but leaders are working to provide residents with adequate, affordable housing.

What Can Be Done

Affordable housing should fall within a livable range for low- to median-income households, although there has been a lack of affordable options for residents in D.C. Investments in low-income communities are needed to help address the affordable housing crisis.

Jubilee Housing is an organization that seeks to create justice housing, which is housing that allows low- and moderate-income families to benefit from the progress of the city. The Maycroft Apartments, located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., were created for low-income families to live and have access to medication, food, and other needed devices in an electricity shortage.

The housing area will have a resilience room in the building that will store batteries that do not need to run off of generators. The batteries do not give off heat so they can go into more confined spaces if needed. Having these 16 PHI 3.5 batteries will assist in the event of a grid outage for roughly 72 hours.

Rico Loza, the CES Dulles Airport Key Account Manager, said this type of project is “what we are looking at for the future.”

How CES Helped

Loza said he and his team at the Dulles Airport branch have been working with SunCatch Energy.  Their teamwork on several projects over the past few months has really connected them, and they are willing to help each other when needed. The moment the project was pitched to create the batteries, Loza knew this opportunity was something they could not pass.

CES Dulles Airport supplied the energy storage system, and SunCatch Energy installed it. With the help of this community-grown application, these microgrids will be a dedicated line for energy. CES also provided inverters and a Generac Transfer Switch that connected to SimpliPhi batteries.

Although there were not many challenges the team faced, Loza did say that managing the time, working with limited space, and creating something that did not give off heat was a little tricky. With the help of SimpliPhi, they were able to make sure the batteries were delivered promptly for the ribbon cutting.

We are pleased to have played a role in this type of project, especially with this being one of the first in Washington D.C. Loza believes this will take off and that resiliency centers all over will be using batteries just like the one CES helped create.

Loza’s passion for this project and the willingness to help families made it all possible. Loza appreciates CES because of the local care each branch has for their communities, and he enjoys helping in feel-good projects, knowing others will have a safe place to stay in an emergency.


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