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GSA Uses Renewable Energy, Saves Taxpayer Dollars

Wind turbines: a clean, renewable source of energy.

As part of its sustainable energy practices, GSA is tapping wind technology as a renewable energy source to help further government innovation.  The Pembina Land Port of Entry in Pembina, North Dakota is a prime example.

Pembina Wind Turbine provides electricity to Pembina Land Port of Entry.

The Pembina Land Port of Entry never closes and consumes about 1.63 million kilowatt-hours of electrical power annually, about the same as powering 142 average size homes, costing approximately $84,250, including consumption and demand charges.

The newly installed wind turbine will provide a minimum of 76 percent of the property’s annual electrical demand.  Any excess energy produced will be sold to the local energy companies resulting in taxpayer savings.

North Dakota is one of the leading wind producing states with almost 15 percent of the state’s electricity generation coming from wind in 2011. This project is a great opportunity for GSA to take advantage of North Dakota’s incredible wind resources and embrace alternative and renewable energy.

The turbine has many environmental and economic benefits:

  • It uses clean energy, producing no emissions, which means it doesn’t contribute to acid rain or snow, global climate change, smog, regional haze, and particulate related health effects.
  • Unlike conventional fossil fuels, wind is a renewable, abundant energy available to future generations.
  • The turbines electrical output will significantly offset the facilities electrical usage and likely overproduce, yielding an annual revenue stream utilizing power purchase agreements with the local utility provider.

The opportunity to use and implement wind technology remains the focus in federal agencies. The Energy Policy Act calls for federal agencies to invest in new sources of clean, renewable energy, such as wind power. By 2025, 25 percent of energy must come from renewable sources.  Most recently, GSA staff shared with other federal energy managers from across the country lessons they learned during the Pembina project. The staff spoke at a Department of Energy workshop at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colo.

For more information on GSA’s sustainable practices you can click here.