Press Release

Washington, D.C. Residents Go Solar
Family Enlists Astrum Solar to Install Largest Residential Solar Panel System in DC

WASHINGTON, DC (July 9, 2010) – In an effort to become energy independent and ultimately carbon neutral, Washington, D.C. residents Shelley Cohen and Mike Gala are installing the District’s largest residential solar panel system. The 11.96 kW system was installed this week by Maryland-based Astrum Solar. The 52 solar panels will generate 13,754 kW-hours of electricity a year, which will help meet between 75-85 percent of the home’s electricity use. The environmental benefits from this solar project are equivalent to planting 250 trees annually or recycling, rather than landfilling, 100 tons of waste over 30 years.

“Our family is committed to living a green urban lifestyle and to reducing our carbon footprint by making our home energy efficient, using renewable energy, and reducing consumptive behavior,” said Washington, D.C. resident Shelley Cohen. “Our project benefited from a partnership with the DC government, and we encourage others in the District to take advantage of the incentives being offered for renewable energy project development in the city.”  

Cohen and Gala have used their respective expertises in architecture and environmental project development to green their urban dwellings since they married in 2001. Their efforts have been covered in AIA DC magazine, the Washington Post, and on two Discovery Channel TV shows, including Renovation Nation in 2009. Their latest project is to restore and green an old home, which has included an eco-friendly kitchen renovation, environmentally friendly flooring, paints and other materials, green insulation and energy efficient windows, installation of an eco-friendly roof, creating a certified back yard habitat and organic garden, and now installing a renewable energy system.  

Outside of Washington, D.C., Astrum Solar is helping residents of Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia become independent from fossil fuels. The company has installed hundreds of solar systems and is on pace to complete 500 installations in 2010.

“Every day the importance of alternative energy sources becomes more and more evident. Astrum Solar is committed to bringing clean energy solutions to residents throughout the Eastern United States,” said Astrum Solar President Vadim Polikov, PhD. “We are not only thrilled to be working with Ms. Cohen and Mr. Gala to achieve their goal of a zero carbon footprint but also the District and neighboring states that are helping their residents make now the time to go solar.”

In addition to Astrum Solar, partners on this project include Ameresco, Inc. who provided the solar panels and the District of Columbia Department of the Environment.

About Astrum Solar

Astrum Solar is a multi-state installer of residential and small commercial solar panel systems serving Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington D.C. Headquartered in Maryland, Astrum Solar offers a premier customer experience by facilitating every aspect of a customer’s seamless transition to solar – from getting a real price estimate using the company’s online Solar Calculator and measuring the homeowner’s roof to filing for necessary permits and selling the homeowner’s Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). For more information, please visit