Largest PV Installation in the State of Texas
System Size: 337kW DC
On January 24th, 2007, an executive order required Federal agencies to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3% per year or 30% by the end of 2015. In response, the VA developed a comprehensive department-wide energy management plan and surveyed its major facilities for their solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy potential. Their evaluation included the Dallas, TX and the Loma Linda, CA facilities as candidates for photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SunWize Commercial Power Systems division responded to the VA’s requests for quotes and was awarded both contracts.
Hospitals are enormous consumers of energy and therefore strong candidates for distributed power generation. However, their continual, life critical operations cannot be disrupted by large scale construction projects. SunWize was able to develop and execute a project plan that avoided any significant disruptions to hospital operations. Pre-assembling the modules into panels reduced the amount of work required on the roof, enabling the entire system to be installed in eight weeks–minimizing the impact on the hospital.
The Dallas VA Medical Center PV system, completed in February 2009, consists of 1,728 Sanyo 195-watt BA-19 modules roof-mounted onto SunLink racks ballasted as well as anchored to the concrete roof. The system utilizes an Advanced Energy Solaron 333 kW inverter and is monitored by the hospital’s Square D PowerLogic energy and power management system as well as Fat Spaniel Technologies. It is one of the most efficient fixed mount, crystalline systems available today, maximizing the power production in the limited amount of roof space. Most importantly, this major installation was completed without interfering with the hospital’s normal operations.
Not only will the medical center save over $50,000 annually on its electricity costs, it is making a significant contribution to the distributed generation of energy and a reliable electrical grid. The Dallas VA Medical Center was chosen in part because of its location in a congested electrical distribution system. High temperatures and air conditioning demand put considerable strain on the grid during the day. The hospital’s PV system produces power during these periods of peak demand, lessening the load on the utility and helping the community. The hospital easily consumes every kW of power it produces.
Rick Hart, Energy Manager at the Dallas Medical Center as quoted, “I appreciate the diligent project and construction management of SunWize. Nobody has worked as hard as SunWize to address my requirements. Moreover, I am glad for the careful, conservative approach to structural engineering taken. During the “microburst” storm that destroyed the Dallas Cowboy training facility on May 2, 2009 and uprooted trees and light poles here at the hospital, our rooftop PV system stayed put.”
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