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United States DOE announces clean energy project initiative

US Government allocates $5 million to develop clean energy projects at Federal facilities.

The funding will be applied to nine projects that aim to advance the development of combined heat and power (CHP) and renewable energy technologies at facilities across the Federal Government — the nation’s largest single user of energy — and help meet energy efficiency, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Furthermore, these projects will reduce carbon emissions, while strengthening America’s economic, energy, and environmental security.

The federal government is working to achieve a number of energy, water, and carbon pollution reduction goals, including improving the energy intensity of its facilities by 30 percent by 2015 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2020. Renewable energy at federal facilities also represents a large clean energy resource for the United States. Federal agencies are working toward a goal of 20 per cent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 as directed in a December 2013 Presidential Memorandum.1

The Federal Energy Management Program’s (FEMP) inaugural Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) funding announced on 22 September will support two main technology areas: CHP and renewable energy. Funding includes nearly $2 million for three projects to increase the use of CHP to generate electric and thermal energy from a single source and more than $3 million for six renewable energy projects to install photovoltaic (PV) systems. Cost shared with industry, the total investment is nearly $120 million.

Projects funded under the Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program are:
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas)— This 13.7 MW CHP system at the center is expected to net more than $29 million in energy savings over its lifetime. This will be NASA’s first CHP deployment: there is potential for 73 MW of CHP across the agency.
  • Department of Defense (Army Aberdeen Proving Ground in Edgewood, Maryland)—This 7.9 MW CHP system, executed under an Energy Savings Performance Contract, will replace a steam generation plant being decommissioned in 2016. The new system will provide 86 per cent of the site’s steam supply and offset 50 per cent of current electricity use. The project will also develop standard protocols — including design, air permitting, and electrical interconnection —  that can be replicated across DOD.
  • National Science Foundation (Arctic Program at Thule Air Base in Greenland) — This 30 kilowatt CHP system will serve as a model for NSF facilities and assist agencies in evaluating the replacement of diesel generators at any remote, isolated government sites, such as DOD forward operating bases, FEMA emergency zones, forests and parks. Typically electricity and fuel costs are excessively high in the Artic, and the maintenance requirements for a microturbine are far less than diesel engines.
  • Department of Agriculture (12 Forest Service National Forests in California) — The Forest Service will deploy a total of 220 kW of renewable energy installations, including PV systems at 14 locations across 11 National Forests, along with a single small-scale hydroelectric turbine at one additional National Forest. These off-grid systems will use battery-backup and several different battery technologies to boost system performance. These will be prototype installations for replication at Forest Service locations nationwide.
  • Department of Justice (Bureau of Prisons in Oregon, New Jersey, and New York) — The Bureau of Prisons will install a total of 1.5 MW of ground-mounted PV systems at three federal prisons in Sheridan, Oregon; Fairton, New Jersey; and Otisville, New York. The project will serve as a pilot for 119 other federal prisons. 
  • Department of the Interior (National Park Service in Virginia and North Carolina) — The National Park Service will deploy 350 solar-powered safety lights along the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina. At present, almost all of the safety lights are battery-powered and require frequent verification and replacement. The installation will significantly extend time between physical inspections, saving on fuel and maintenance costs.
  • Department of Defense (Air National Guard in Westhampton Beach, New York) —This 1.56 MW rooftop PV system at the Gabreski Airport will cover 48 per cent of the base’s electric consumption and is the site’s first renewable project.
  • Department of Defense (Army in Fort Campbell, Kentucky) — This 5 MW ground-mounted PV system will be installed on an abandoned landfill, which is otherwise unusable land. The multi-megawatt project will encourage further solar deployment in an area of the country underserved by renewables. The Army can apply lessons learned to other large-scale, landfill-based PV projects.
  • Department of Transportation (Federal Aviation Administration in Peachtree City, Georgia) — This 217 kW ground-mount PV system at the Terminal Radar Approach Control Station will be the FAA’s first large-scale renewable project in its Eastern Service Area. It is expected to produce approximately 300,000 kWh annually.
1. The Presidential Memorandum, published in December 2013, establishes a new target for Federal use of renewable energy that challenges agencies to more than double their renewable electricity consumption. In order to improve their ability to manage energy consumption, promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve the sustainability goals set forth in Executive Order 13514, this memorandum also directs agencies to update their building-performance and energy-management practices, by encouraging the use of the consensus-based, industry-standard Green Button data access system (Green Button) and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
Review the Presidential Memorandum in its entirety online.

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Bioenergy  •  Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Geothermal  •  Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Solar heating and cooling  •  Wind power



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