U.S. Government To Save $5M With Solar Power Purchase Agreement

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Forest Service, has awarded a contract for the federal government’s first-ever joint solar power procurement in California and Nevada.

Credit: SolarCity

Solar developer SolarCity Corporation of San Mateo, CA was awarded a power purchase agreement (PPA) as part of the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Pilot (FASPP) — a strategic sourcing project that combines several small to mid-size photovoltaic (PV) installation opportunities within northern California and northern Nevada into a single procurement.

The FASPP takes advantage of economies of scale in solar installation with no up-front cost to the government. This multi-agency energy procurement will save the government $5 million in energy costs and help achieve the Administration’s 2025 Renewable Energy Goal as outlined in Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.

“This groundbreaking project will make it easier for federal agencies to use onsite renewable power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving taxpayer dollars,” said Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Christine Harad. “This initiative is a great way to showcase how the federal government is leading by example and taking advantage of the incredible opportunities to build a clean energy economy, especially given the historic agreement in Paris.”

Under this PPA, SolarCity Corporation will have the PV systems up and running at nine federal sites by the end of 2016. Systems will be a mixture of rooftop, ground-mounted, and parking lot canopies. The nine project locations include: Regional Office Building in Vallejo, CA (U.S. Forest Service); Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, CA (GSA); John F. Shea Federal Building in Santa Rosa, CA (GSA); Federal Building at 2800 Cottage Way in Sacramento, CA (GSA); Leo J. Ryan Federal Records Center in San Bruno, CA (GSA); U.S. Geological Survey Campus in Menlo Park, CA (GSA); James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco, CA (GSA); C. Clifton Young Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Reno, NV. (GSA); and the Carson City Federal Building in Carson City, NV. (GSA). Four of these sites will achieve net zero for electricity: Carson City Federal Building, C. Clifton Young Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Leo J. Ryan Federal Records Center, and the U.S. Forest Service Regional Office Building.

“The federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the nation and GSA, as its landlord and realtor, has a responsibility to lead by example in energy and sustainability,” said GSA Acting Senior Sustainability Officer Kevin Kampschroer. “This strategic sourcing contract not only supports GSA’s commitment to greening the government, it also allows us to help create energy GSA will use at federal facilities.”

The FASPP is one of six programs selected as part of the White House GreenGov Spotlight Communities Program administered by the Council on Environmental Quality. Initially, the project will produce up to 5 megawatts of solar power across the multiple sites in California and Nevada and has the potential to serve as a model for how federal entities nationwide can partner to procure renewable energy.