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Energy Department Investment Drives Clean Energy Innovation at Federal Facilities

January 27, 2016 - 1:30pm

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $2.85 million in funding for four projects that will advance the development of renewable energy technologies at facilities across the federal government. As the nation's largest single user of energy, the federal government is leading by example and these projects will reduce carbon emissions, while strengthening America's economic, energy, and environmental security. This award announcement follows on the heels of the President's State of the Union address where he discussed how clean energy technologies such as solar are providing real-world solutions. Not only do they reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change, but they are increasingly becoming more cost-competitive with existing technologies, even without accounting for the climate benefits.

Renewable energy at federal facilities also represents a large clean energy resource for the United States. Currently, federal agencies are working toward a goal of achieving 30% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. 

The DOE's Federal Energy Management Program's (FEMP) is leading the way to bring clean energy projects to federal facilities, and today's Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) selections are aimed at increasing photovoltaic (PV) and biomass generation. Cost shared with industry, the total investment is nearly $75 million.

Projects funded under the Energy Department's Federal Energy Management Program are:

  • Department of State (Overseas Diplomatic Posts)—This 11.9-megawatt PV system bundles together solar projects from 200 kilowatts to 8 megawatts at 10 different overseas U.S. diplomatic posts into the State Department's first multi-site Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). The proposed project will more than double the use of renewables.
  • Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service)—This 0.76 megawatt project deploys roof, ground, or carport-mounted solar panels, ranging from 6–100 kilowatts at 11 installation sites across Oregon and Washington. The project will provide 100% of the electricity needs for four sites and more than 50% of the electricity needs at the remaining seven locations. 
  • Department of Justice (Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] in El Paso, Texas)—This 0.79 megawatt PV installation combines a ground and carport system at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), providing 30% of EPIC's energy use using the ENABLE ESPC contract, which offers a standardized, streamlined process for small federal facilities to install targeted energy conservation measures in six months or less. The project will be DEA's first renewable energy system and first ESPC that will advance agency expertise in renewable energy system installation and integration that can be used by other DEA facilities.
  • Department of Defense (U.S. Marine Corps Installation Command in Albany, Georgia)—This 10-megawatt biomass steam turbine generator will reduce annual electricity consumption by approximately 4,600 megawatt-hours annually. The model project demonstrates how military installations can work toward federal energy goals and mandates, while achieving a net-zero status and addressing energy security challenges. 

The Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Visit the FEMP website to learn more how the Energy Department enables federal agencies to meet energy-related goals.

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