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Federal Agency Projects

Technical experts from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) help federal agencies pursue aggressive and integrated solutions to energy independence. Examples include work with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to meet net-zero energy goals at military installations and reduce fossil fuel use in polar regions.

U.S. Department of Defense

DOE and DOD have teamed up to help military installations across the United States reduce their reliance on local energy grids by producing as much energy on-site as their buildings, facilities, and fleet vehicles consume.

U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

DOE and NREL are performing assessments at select DOD sites to evaluate the potential for achieving energy reduction goals. The assessment at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California established baseline energy use and identified the lowest-cost combination of renewable energy options to meet energy reduction goals.

As a result, Miramar is on track to achieve a 43% reduction in building source energy use by 2012 and has been designated the first green Marine Corps base. New projects will enable the base to reduce building source energy use 90% by 2017.

Based on the Miramar project, DOE and NREL created a standardized assessment and planning process template for other military bases. Widespread replication of this process is planned, with assessments under way at several DOD installations, including: the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, the U.S. Army Garrison's Pohakuloa Training Area in Hawaii, the U.S. Naval Support Activity South Potomac in Virginia, and the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.

Learn more about this systematic framework for planning energy projects at military installations in the NREL technical report Net Zero Energy Military Installations: A Guide to Assessment and Planning.

Read more in the fact sheet DOE, NREL Help DoD Enhance Energy Security.

National Science Foundation

DOE and NREL are working with the NSF to reduce fossil fuel use at polar sites—the world's most remote regions. The challenge is to ensure that the solutions not only reduce the environmental impact of NSF's research stations, but also provide cost-effective and reliable energy supplies to support research needs. Currently, the operations that support research in NSF polar sites depend entirely on fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, and heating. NREL is providing technical and project assistance to help NSF polar facilities such as McMurdo Station and Summit Station:

  • Establish an overall project development plan
  • Develop an Energy Savings Performance Contract model for implementing energy efficiency projects
  • Expand the fleet of electric vehicles for cold weather operations
  • Implement an alternative fuels pilot program, including a hydrogen-fueled shuttle and a hydrogen fueling station
  • Deploy wind energy and provide assistance to further develop wind energy capacity
  • Redesign research and housing facilities to be ultra-high-efficiency energy buildings.

Learn more about the polar projects on the NSF website.