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Solar Briefing: GM, Denver Airport, Matrix Development, VA Hospitals

General Motors has pledged to double its solar power capacity from 30 to 60 MW by 2015, as it announced a $7.5 million investment in solar power manufacturer and developer Sunlogics. GM has also signed commercial agreements with Sunlogics for the installation of solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations at Chevrolet dealerships and GM facilities, with stations completed at two dealerships so far. Each solar canopy is expected to generate electricity equivalent to 12 full vehicle charges per day, and any electricity that is not used by the chargers will be re-routed to supply the dealership as a whole.

Constellation Energy and Denver International Airport have announced the completion of a 4.4 MW, ground-mounted solar power system. Constellation Energy built, owns and maintains the solar installation, and the airport will purchase the electricity produced by the system over a 20-year period. It is the third large-scale solar project for DIA, bringing the airport’s total amount of hosted solar power to more than 8 MW. This is the most solar generation at a commercial airport in the United States, DIA says.

Public Service Electric and Gas Company and Matrix Development Group have cut the ribbon on a rooftop solar installation at a Matrix-owned building in South Brunswick, N.J. The 3 MW project is part of PSE&G’s Solar 4 All program, the utility’s flagship solar effort aimed at helping the Garden State reach its solar energy goals, while creating jobs and fostering economic development.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded $56.7 million in contracts to build solar photovoltaic systems. By summer 2012, VA will install the solar PV systems at five medical centers in Oklahoma City; Temple, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Loma Linda, Calif. and West Los Angeles.  VA selected the sites based on feasibility studies that determined the most ideal locations to invest in on-site renewable energy projects.

Somerset Tire Service Inc. has installed a 1 MW DC photovoltaic solar system on the roof of its distribution center in Bridgewater, N.J. The solar array includes 5,488 185-watt solar modules manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric and installed by Advanced Solar Products. The system is estimated to produce 1,197 MWh of electricity per year. The company says this should nearly eliminate both its power bill and its output of greenhouse gases.

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