U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Technologies Program – Procuring Solar for Federal Facilities

Photo of three males standing together in front of a row of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic trackers.

Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Decision Makers was released in conjunction with a U.S. Department of Energy announcement of plans to install solar on the White House. The guide is designed to assist federal agencies with the procurement of solar energy and help users plan and execute with step-by-step instructions and real-life examples.

Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers provides an overview for federal facility managers and their procurement teams on the process of installing solar electric and solar thermal systems.

Installing solar systems will help federal facilities meet the federal renewable energy requirements established in recent years.

The step-by-step details within the guide are grouped by the following topics:

Pre-screening and Planning - understand federal requirements and conducting a site pre-screening Project Planning - identify goals, assembling an on-site team, evaluating the pre-screening information, and considering requirements Financing Selection - understand the options and selecting the final financing Project Implementation - implement the project, dependant on the financing selected.

In addition, the guide provides resources on the technology options and other tools for federal site managers.

Although the guide focuses on solar projects, energy efficiency is equally important for reducing both site energy costs and the environmental impacts of using non-renewable methods of energy production.

Background

Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers

Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers presents planning and process information for successfully installing solar electric systems on federal sites and buildings. The complete guide is available.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program, in collaboration with the Federal Energy Management Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, released Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers in October 2010.

Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers targets federal site managers, site contractors, and procurement specialists. The goal is to help them navigate the process towards a successful solar installation by providing step-by-step information, case studies, and additional resources.

Solar energy plays a significant role in the federal government's strategy for renewable and efficient energy. Because solar systems produce energy on site, they involve unique issues and processes. They include connecting the solar system to both an electrical system and building, understanding procurement options, and finding the most cost-effective solutions. This guide concentrates on distributed solar generation and does not consider large, centralized solar energy generation.