You are here

Inauguration of Headquarters' Solar Energy System

September 9, 2008 - 3:20pm

Addthis

Remarks As Prepared for Secretary Bodman

Good morning and welcome to you all.  This is a great day for the Department of Energy.

As America's largest energy consumer, the U.S. government has the responsibility and the opportunity to lead the way to a cleaner, more efficient, more affordable and more secure energy future.

In January 2007 President Bush issued an Executive Order calling on all federal agencies to reduce energy intensity, or consumption per square foot, by 30 percent. That order also calls for the percentage of new renewable sources in each agency's energy supply to be increased and asked agencies to put renewable energy generation projects into operation on their property.

I determined that the Department of Energy should -- and would -- lead by example.  That we would be the first in the federal government to meet or exceed the efficiency, renewable energy, water, transportation, and green building requirements the President outlined.

To ensure we stay on track toward this objective, the Department of Energy has put forward the Transformational Energy Action Management, or TEAM Initiative.  TEAM will lead to reductions in our energy intensity across all DOE sites by 30 percent. Our goal is to attain a U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - or LEED - gold rating for all DOE new construction and major renovation projects.

Moreover, we plan to meet or exceed the Energy Policy Act requirement of having 7.5 percent of DOE's electricity provided by renewable energy by 2013.

It is one such step forward on this front that brings us here today.

In partnership with the General Services Administration, the Department of Energy has installed this 205 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array here on our main building's roof.  The Forrestal photovoltaic System is 40-to-50 times the size of a typical residential PV system. It is one of the largest in the Washington, D.C. area and will generate approximately 200 megawatt hours of energy each year, producing up to 8 percent of the building's electricity load.  This is equivalent to the energy used in 17 residential homes in a single year.

In addition, the integrated insulation that is part of these photovoltaic modules gives us additional savings by reducing the building's heating and cooling load.

America's transition to a clean energy future begins with many small steps like this array because we have reached the point where every savings accrues to our overall benefit.  As I often say, the U.S. economy's most available source of new energy is the energy we lose everyday to waste and inefficiency.  When multiplied out across the entire federal government, savings such as these will be considerable: both in the amount of energy and the taxpayer dollars we will save.

The significance of this solar array is both practical and symbolic: It improves the way the Department consumes energy.  And it is a symbol of America's commitment to using the best available new technologies to confront the energy challenges we face today and will face tomorrow.

And now, if you will all join me in cutting the ribbon and taking another step toward America's energy future.

Location: Washington D.C.

Media contact(s): Jennifer Scoggins, (202) 586-4940

Addthis