Federal Agencies Receive Awards for Privately Financed Renewable Energy Projects

March 7, 2007

Photo of a wind turbine.
750 kilowatt wind turbine at FCI Victorville

In October 2006, FEMP presented Federal Energy and Water Management Awards to 11 agencies for exemplary energy and water-saving projects implemented in FY 2005. Six of the 17 winning projects highlighted renewable energy and green power purchases, and all of these projects were funded using either an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) or a utility energy services contract (UESC).

Using an ESPC with NORESCO LLC, the Federal Bureau of Prisons at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Victorville installed a 750-kilowatt wind turbine, a photovoltaic (PV) covered parking solar array, and several cost-efficient upgrades to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The wind turbine produces 30 percent of the peak electric demand for FCI Victorville and saves more than 9 percent of annual electricity consumption. The PV carport array is rated to produce 74.5 kilowatts at full capacity, and provides shade for vehicles during the extremely hot summers. The renewable projects, along with integrating HVAC controls and adding variable frequency drives, saved more than $212,000 and 3.8 billion Btu in FY 2005 during the final construction phase. At the time the nomination was submitted, it was estimated that savings of almost $470,000 and 9.6 billion Btu would be attained in FY 2006.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) used a UESC with Commonwealth Edison to complete the installation of a 100-kilowatt solar electric system at the Harold Washington Social Security Center. This 8,000 square foot building-integrated array is the largest in Chicago. It is made up of 528 rooftop solar panels, and generates enough electricity each day to power 100 homes. The array reduced SSA's electrical load by more than 98.5 million Btu in FY 2005, helping to offset peak power costs statewide. SSA estimates that the solar system will displace more than 4 million pounds of greenhouse gases over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide absorbed by 20 acres of trees or avoiding driving 4.8 million miles on the roadways of Chicago. Larry Smith of SSA's Chicago office was recognized for this project with a Federal Energy and Water Management Award. The project was also recognized with a Presidential Award for Leadership in Energy Management, along with the larger SSA Energy Initiatives Team's nationwide efforts.

Photo of a man on the roof of the Harold Washington Social Security Center
Larry Smith with 200 kW photovoltaic array on roof of Harold Washington Social Security Center

Other projects receiving Renewable Energy awards in 2006 included:

  • Hill Air Force Base, for constructing a 2-mile landfill gas pipeline and 1.2-megawatt on-site power generation facility using an ESPC through FEMP's Biomass and Alternative Methane Fuels (BAMF) program. The base also renegotiated a five year contract with the local utility to purchase steam produced from refuse incineration.
  • U.S. Army Fort Knox, for using a UESC to replace 70 percent of the 40 year-old heating and cooling systems at their Disney Barracks Area with geothermal heat pumps.
  • The Department of the Navy, for using an ESPC to construct a $12 million wind turbine project at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with a total capacity of 3.8 megawatts.
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, for using an ESPC to install two large solar photovoltaic rooftop arrays and seven additional solar projects underway—totaling 236 kW of PV solar generating capacity. The ESPC value was $6.5 million.

To find out more about these award winning projects, please visit www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/services/awards_fewm2006.html. For more information on FEMP's Federal Energy and Water Management Awards, please contact Nellie Tibbs-Greer at 202-586-7875.