A First of Its Kind in Washington, DC


On May 14, 2015—a bright, spring day—a crowd of developers, commercial real estate leaders and those who work in the environmental industry gathered on the rooftop of a prestigious office building in Washington, DC. They were here to see a first of its kind solar photovoltaic (PV) system in action. Direct Energy Solar designed and installed this 30 kW system for the Tower Companies’ Millennium Building. This is the first solar PV installation on a large, commercial, class-A office building in Washington, DC.

It’s also the largest solar PV installation on a commercial office building in the District!

Mark Manthy, Business Development Director from Direct Energy Solar and Jacob McDowell, Solar Engineer II from Direct Energy Solar answered questions and gave tours of the system.

The new solar PV system features 109 American made panels (270 watts each), with an estimated annual production of nearly 40,000 kWh. Tower Companies has installed a live dashboard in the penthouse lobby, where visitors can view daily and on-going electricity generated by the system. The Millennium Building has a renewable portfolio standard that aims to get 20% of its electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020.

Solar Presentation

Following the tours, the group assembled to hear presentations on the goals and progress of solar projects throughout the District of Columbia. Building owners, large property owners, and leaders from the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) talked about current projects, the financial benefits of solar and how Washington, DC is a leader in renewable energy.

One of highlights was when Mark Manthy of Direct Energy Solar told the group about the 800 jobs Direct Energy Solar plans to create this year and about the new corporate headquarters planned for Columbia, Maryland. Taresa Lawrence, Deputy Director Energy Administration DDOE talked about future solar projects and said, “the demand for solar in the district has increased exponentially in the last few years.”

Media Coverage

Fox 5 and NBC 4 in Washington, DC came and covered the event. It was also featured in Politico’s Morning Energy Brief.