West / Regional Reports

Solar Work at Denver Center Will Make It GSA's Largest Solar Installation

July 25, 2011
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LAKEWOOD, Colo. - The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Denver Federal Center (DFC) campus is nearing the completion of its nearly 7 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) 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 PV is expected to be online by the end of 2011.

In 2007, GSA installed its first, six-acre, 1.2 MW solar PV park, which includes 6,192 solar panels at the 624-acre campus in Lakewood, Colo. In 2009, GSA received additional funding to add nearly 7 MW more PV. “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 PV system. In all, 14,612 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.

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 14 carport structures with solar panels on top at Buildings 20, 25, 53, and 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 PV inverters from Satcon in California.

For more information about E Light Wind and Solar, visit www.ewindsolar.com. For more information about SolarWorld, visit www.solarworld.com.

Publication date: 07/25/2011

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