Hooray, Arrays!

Image Courtesy of NREL
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.

Thanks to its arrays of photovoltaic cells with a total production capacity of 973 kW, the nation's largest net-zero energy-use building produced as much energy as it used on June 22. National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers in the Dept. of Energy's 220,000-sq-ft Research Support Facility expect the Golden, Colo., building to achieve NZEU for the month of July, assuming the sun continues to shine. DOE's Jeffrey M. Baker, the facility's visionary and ENR's 2011 Award of Excellence winner, reports the year-old building is performing as designed (ENR 5/10/10 p. 26). And if additional PV arrays with a combined capacity of about 2.5 MW start up by January as planned, the complex—including a 138,000-sq-ft expansion and a 500,000-sq-ft parking garage on course for completion by year's end—could achieve its first year of NZEU in 2012.