DOE Invests $104 Million for Clean Energy Projects at Federal Facilities

The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

(Credit: U.S. Department of Defense)

by | Jan 22, 2024

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The Department of Energy is investing $104 million in energy conservation and clean energy projects at 31 federal facilities across the United States.

The investment is the first of three disbursements of $250 million coming from the Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) program, established in 1992 to help agencies cut energy consumption and save taxpayer dollars. Funding supports advancements such as building electrification, the use of geothermal heat pumps, on-site solar generation, and battery storage.

In December 2021, President Biden established an executive order setting targets to reduce emissions from federal operations by 65% by 2030, reach 100% zero-emissions vehicle acquisitions by 2035, and achieve net-zero building operations by 2045. The funding supports these goals and the administration’s overarching strategy to reestablish the federal government as a sustainability leader.

“President Biden has charged the federal government to lead by example by transforming its footprint of over 300,000 buildings to be more energy efficient and climate resilient, which means cleaner air across the country,” said Brenda Mallory, chair for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “This investment, part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, will help achieve the Administration’s ambitious federal sustainability goals while creating thousands of good-paying jobs, saving taxpayers money, and building healthier communities.”

The federal government is reportedly the country’s largest consumer of energy. Conserving power from buildings and vehicles may help support national security and maintain strategic advantages for the U.S., according to Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of defense.

Projects Expected to Double Carbon-Free Electricity Capacity for Federal Facilities

The supported projects are expected to add 27 megawatts of clean energy capacity, which will reportedly save over $29 million in energy and water costs and remove the same amount of emissions as taking about 23,000 cars off the road.

The new projects maintain a wide variety of clean energy technologies and energy efficiency advancements. One project includes the installation of rooftop solar panels, a heat pump system, and solar thermal panels at the Pentagon, while another will install LED lights and PV film on south-facing windows at the Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Projects will also be supported through more than $361 million in private investment.

As of 2022, federal buildings have reduced overall emissions by 39% compared to 2008 levels, with a 27% reduction in energy intensity and 30% reduction in water intensity compared to 2003 and 2007 levels, respectively, according to the DOE.

The second phase of the AFFECT funding will accept applications starting this month.

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