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GSA Officials See How Solar Plans Create More Sustainable Federal Buildings

Suniva employee discusses new photovoltaic technologies with GSA Administrator Martha Johnson.

Suniva employee discusses new photovoltaic technologies with GSA Administrator Martha N. Johnson.
 

By Adam Elkington
General Services Administration

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2011 – GSA Administrator Martha N. Johnson, Chief Sustainability Officer Stephen R. Leeds, and Southeast Sunbelt Regional Administrator Shyam Reddy saw firsthand the process of making the solar panels that help federal buildings be more sustainable.  

The trio toured Suniva, one of the leading American manufacturers of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and high-powered solar modules.  

Johnson has committed GSA to creating a more sustainable and better-performing federal building portfolio. With almost 10,000 federal real property assets and more than 370 million square feet of workspace, GSA is uniquely suited to implement innovative green technologies such as the photovoltaic cells manufactured by Suniva.  

GSA’s efforts to implement sustainable design into federal buildings can be seen in the solar array at the Terry Sanford Federal Building and U.S Courthouse in Raleigh, N.C. This building houses a roof-mounted 500 kilowatt photovoltaic array that includes more than 2,000 photovoltaic modules. The system is expected to offset the yearly energy usage of the federal building by 17 percent to 18 percent.  

During the tour, Johnson observed the production process up close from raw silicate sheet to completed solar cell.  
 

See a slide show of Johnson's tour>>

How GSA improves federal building efficiency>>