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Denver Federal Center Solar Work to Exceed Original Production Expectations

Turning a vision of becoming the greenest campus in the U.S. by 2020 into reality

GSA# 10803

June 27, 2011
Sally Mayberry, 303-236-2583
sally.mayberry@gsa.gov

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The U.S. General Services Administration’s Denver Federal Center campus is nearing the completion of its nearly 7 megawatt solar photovoltaic project. 

This project combined with an existing 1.2 MW solar park will provide more than 15 percent of the DFC’s electrical needs annually. The combined capacity of all of the solar arrays is enough to power 1,064 residential homes for one year. The project’s final phase, originally scheduled for 3.45 MW, has been increased to 3.5 MW. All told, the project is GSA’s largest solar installation across the United States, and all campus photovoltaic is expected to be online by the end of the year.

In 2007, GSA installed its first six-acre, 1.2 MW solar photovoltaic park that includes 6,192 solar panels at the 624-acre campus in Lakewood. In 2009, GSA received additional funding to add nearly 7 MW more photovoltaic. 

“GSA has made great strides over the years reducing energy consumption in buildings and we are well under way in turning our vision of becoming the greenest campus by 2020 into a reality,” said Susan Damour, GSA Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator. “The past couple of years have been an unprecedented opportunity for GSA to help create and sustain jobs all across the country.”

In 2009, E Light Wind and Solar Inc./Centerre, a Colorado small-business joint-venture company was awarded a design/build contract for the installation of the additional solar at the DFC. The solar is being installed in a two-phased approach. The first phase was completed ahead of schedule and brought online Dec. 15, 2010. It included roof replacement and the design and installation of a 3.2 MW solar photovoltaic system. About 14,610 roof-mounted, 224-watt solar panels were installed on Buildings 20, 56 and 810. In the final phase, the company is installing 14,352 245-watt solar panels manufactured by SolarWorld at its factories in Camarillo, Calif., and Hillsboro, Ore., as well as products from other U.S. technology manufacturers.

“I applaud our work force for a successful installation with these multiple applications,“ said Perry Herrmann, president/CEO of E Light Wind and Solar Inc. “Being able to provide the DFC with more renewable power has surpassed our expectations with this installation and is a testament to the skill and professionalism of our electricians.”

Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, said the collaboration among U.S. businesses and employees involved in manufacturing and installing solar technology and balance-of-system components at a federal government site has been a heartening sign of the nation’s promising renewable-energy future.

“Renewable energy technology and its manufacture and installation are more than mere sources of clean electricity,” Kilkelly says. “They are the very keys to the nation’s energy supply and affordability, international and economic stability, and environmental and climate stewardship. By tapping the many strengths and ingenuity of the American workforce, this project has quite simply bolstered the country’s path toward greater security.”

The final phase originally was planned for 3.45 MW but was increased to 3.5 MW. The work includes ground-mount solar arrays visible near the main entrance on Kipling Avenue; ground-mount solar arrays located near Sixth Avenue; and finally, 14 carport structures with solar panels on top at Buildings 20, 25, 53, 810 on the DFC campus. The last phase features solar ground-mounting systems from Schletter Inc. in Arizona; carport racking from Tra-Mage in Utah; and photovoltaic inverters from Satcon in California.

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As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, the U.S. General Services Administration works to foster an effective, sustainable and transparent government for the American people. GSA’s expertise in government workplace solutions include:
• Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased
buildings and 210,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, and preservation of historic federal properties;
• Leveraging the government’s buying power through responsible acquisition of products and services
making up more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars;
• Providing innovative technology solutions to enhance government efficiency and increase citizen
engagement; and,
• Promoting responsible use of federal resources through development of government-wide policies
ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.