Washington tower’s solar PV system is city first

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Millennium Building in Washington, D.C. has finished installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, a first of its kind in a large, commercial, class-A office building in the U.S. capitol.

Project leaders, Astrum Solar and The Tower Companies—a privately-held organization that has developed and managed The Millennium since 1973, hope other commercial buildings will follow suit by using on-site renewable energy.

“We strive to be in the forefront of the green building industry and have wanted to incorporate solar for a while now,” said Eugenia Gregorio, director of corporate responsibility for The Tower Companies. “When we combined the decreased cost of solar panels and the tax and SREC incentives available, the project just made good business sense and aligns with our environmental goals.”

Not only is the 30 kW solar PV system expected to reduce building costs in the LEED Gold, ENERGY STAR certified high-rise, but it will also improve the district’s environmental footprint.

Located on the roof, the system features 109 panels (270 watts each), with an estimated annual production of about 40,000 kWh.

The Tower purchased the system, rather than leasing it. A live dashboard in the lobby will display the on-going electricity generated.

Sandy Roskes, chief sales officer for Astrum Solar, said it’s encouraging to see the transition solar is making from the housing market to commercial properties.