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Solar Carport Project Completes One of Colorado’s Largest Solar Installations

Solar panels on parking garage at Denver Federal Center

October 17, 2011
Sally Mayberry, 303-236-2583
sally.mayberry@gsa.gov

DENVER – Fourteen new solar carports that if the panels were laid end to end would span nearly 5.5 miles are now installed and will produce approximately 1.6 megawatt-hours per year at four Denver Federal Center buildings. This final phase completes GSA’s largest single solar installation in the United States.  Nearly 7 megawatts of additional renewable power will be online by the end of the year, saving approximately $500,000 in electricity costs annually for the campus.  This project, combined with two other solar projects, will provide more than 15 percent of campus electrical needs, enough to power 1,064 residential homes for one year.

“GSA is investing in solar power technology to not only cut operating costs but to also create jobs that will form the backbone of our nation’s 21st century economy,” said Susan Damour, GSA Regional Administrator.  “This project will be a nice benefit to our campus employees as it will provide protection from the changing weather in Colorado.”

The solar carports cover 600 parking spaces and are targeted to start producing energy next month. Solar carports are a creative way to use available land for solar arrays.  They repurpose current parking lots, add incremental economic value by lowering campus energy spending and protect cars from the elements.
The new carports come with complete electrical power infrastructure for future plug-in electric car charging stations. Underneath, the carports feature LED lighting reducing energy used to light parking spaces at night and lasting five times as long as conventional lighting.  

In December 2009, E Light Wind and Solar, Inc./Centerre, a Colorado small business joint venture company, was awarded the design-build contract for the campus solar work.

“In a down construction economy, this project has allowed our company to diversify our services and train our employees in new skillsets,” said Perry Herrmann, President/CEO of E Light Wind and Solar, Inc. Since the beginning of this two-year, multi-million dollar contract, E Light Wind and Solar, Inc. is now rapidly approaching over 165 megawatts of renewable energy installed across the United States.

The solar work is one of many green technologies GSA is integrating at the DFC in an effort to make its vision of being the most sustainable campus in the U.S. by 2020 a reality.  For more information about the DFC, please go to www.gsa.gov/r8dfc.

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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 includes:

• Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 215,000 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 approximately 14 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 governmentwide policies ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.