Denver Federal Center Solar Park
From Open Energy Information
The Denver Federal Center (DFC) is committed to becoming the most sustainable campus in the United States by the year 2020. To help meet this goal, the DFC Solar Park was built.
Most of Colorado’s energy comes from coal-burning plants. Other sources that are used throughout the state include oil, nuclear power, hydro power, wind and solar power. Because Colorado has an average of 300 sunny days each year, solar energy is a great alternative. Solar power does not produce any air pollution, hazardous waste or noise pollution. It does not contribute to global warming and emits no greenhouse gasses. For details about the DFC solar park, please view the solar park video.
Colorado voters were the first in the nation to pass a statewide renewable energy requirement in 2004. Amendment 37 requires the state’s utility companies to provide a percentage of their retail electricity sales from renewable resources. They will require 10% of all retail electricity to be from renewable resources by the year 2020.
Xcel Energy of Colorado solicited businesses to spark interest in using renewable energies to power their buildings to get started on the new requirements.
GSA responded that they would be interested in building a solar park on six empty acres of land on the DFC campus. A proposal was developed to build a park that would generate nearly 10 percent of the campus’s peak electric demand. The design for the project began in June 2007 by SunEdison, LLC, and construction was completed in January 2008. The total cost of the solar park was $6.9 million.
The park produces 1.6 million kWh of energy each year. Due to this energy output, 1,244 metric tons of CO2 are not emitted into the atmosphere and 6.5 railcars of coal are not burned each year. The energy produced by the solar panels each year is enough to power 145 average houses in Colorado. You may access daily energy production rates and greenhouse gases avoided at SunEdison's Webpage (nongovernment website).
Xcel Energy of Colorado purchases the park’s Renewable Energy Credits from GSA. The term Renewable Energy Credits is used to describe the commodity of energy created from renewable resources like solar and wind. This purchase of Renewable Energy Credits will help Xcel Energy meet the requirements of Amendment 37.