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Bibb Helps Dedicate Denver Solar Park

Remarks By
David L. Bibb
Acting Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Denver Federal Center Solar Park Dedication
Denver, Colorado
June 26, 2008


Thank you so much, Leslie.

Governor Ritter …

Ladies and gentlemen …

It is an honor and a thrill for me to be here today. As Leslie mentioned, I am GSA’s Acting Administrator, but I am also our agency’s chief environmental official.

If there is an event that could make a chief environmental officer happier than this historic ceremony, I can’t think what it might be.  We have dreamed of harnessing the sun’s raw power since man first realized that each day begins with a dazzling sunrise brimming with possibility. Centuries later we know that the sun’s light and heat sustains all life on earth. Scientists tell us that in just one second, the sun emits more energy than humans have used in the last 10,000 years. Think how many solar parks that much energy would power.

We stand poised today to celebrate the application of technology that converts a bit of this intense energy into usable power. It is a remarkable achievement.

Like Don Quioxte, we will make hay while the sun shines!

Like Columbus, we will follow the light of the sun and leave the old world behind.

This solar park is owned and operated by GSA, the government’s leading procurement agency. As Acting Administrator and lead environmental official, I will tell you we are committed to using as much renewable energy as possible. Our goal is to make the Denver Federal Center the most sustainable campus in the nation by 2020. And I would like to see this technology applied, where practical, in as many facilities as possible, because solar power is terrific. It does not produce any air pollution, hazardous waste or noise pollution. It does not contribute to global warming, and it emits no greenhouse gasses.

I could tell you a little about the technical side, the tilt and density of the photovoltaic panels and so on, but here’s what you really need to know: Enough energy is produced here to power 145 homes for a year. In producing this clean energy, we are not burning about 6.5 railcars of coal, which means 1,244 less metric tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. That’s like taking 228 cars off I-70 here in Denver.

Like most successful projects, this one benefited from the cooperation, collaboration, and creativity of many individuals and organizations. I’d like to thank:

  • Governor Ritter;
  • Senators Allard and Salazar, Congressman Perlmutter, and the rest of the Colorado Congressional Delegation:
  • Xcel Energy and Fred Stoffel;
  • SunEdison, llC, which designed the facility; and
  • Of course our entire GSA Rocky Mountain Region Team, led by Regional Administrator Leslie Plomondon.

In closing, I want you to know that solar power is just one facet of GSA’s plan to help green the federal government.

- We are leading the push for telework in the federal workforce;
 
- We have available and are strongly promoting more than 10,000 green goods and services to our client agencies, including alternative fuel vehicles for the federal fleet;

- We are a leader in commissioning buildings that utilize the environmentally friendly concepts of sustainable design, like green roofs;

- We purchase clean energy for other agencies; and

- We even run more than 100 federal childcare facilities where the curriculum includes lessons that help youngsters begin to think about making responsible environmental choices.

No single individual, organization or government entity can clear the path to a pristine environment or American energy independence.  But GSA is taking advantage of its position as the government’s purchasing arm to clear some of the obstacles. The Denver Solar Park is a perfect example. Thank you very much for your attention and your continued support of this wonderful facility.