By Sandra Yin
The Department of Veterans Affairs will spend more than $6.6 million on a solar photovoltaic system for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Generating power on-site will free up operations and maintenance funds for patient care, according to a press release issued by Ameresco, the energy efficiency and renewable energy company that the VA chose for the project.
The project will involve a mix of roof-top and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels. The roof-top systems will be installed at seven facilities with systems ranging from 35 to 100 kilowatts. The ground-mounted system is slated to be approximately 550 kW after the design is completed and approved. Design will begin shortly, while construction is slated to begin in early 2011.
The solar project at Salt Lake City's Veterans Administration Medical Center will help the VA comply with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Executive Order 13423, which directs Federal agencies to boost their use of renewable energy. The energy policy act requires at least 5 percent of the agency's electricity needs to come from renewable sources by 2012. EO 13423 mandates that at least half the renewable energy come from new sources.