GSA is renewing its commitment to renewable energy, and we recently signed a contract that will result in the delivery of 81 megawatts of solar energy from two locations on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. These projects will help the federal government meet President Obama’s renewable energy goals established in March under Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.” The executive order requires federal agencies to ensure that renewable energy accounts for at least 30 percent of building electricity consumption.
In addition to helping the federal government meet President Obama’s renewable energy goals, these projects will help GSA meet its physical power needs in regions on the PJM power grid — the largest power grid in North America, the largest electricity market in the world, and the location of a majority of GSA’s real estate portfolio. In fact, these projects are a part of a larger PJM power initiative launched by GSA last year for grid-based, renewable energy. GSA launched this initiative in October with a first-of-its-kind procurement for 140 megawatts of wind energy in northwest Illinois.
75-Megawatt Solar Installation
The first project will deliver 75 megawatts of renewable solar energy to GSA’s facilities. This project will displace the equivalent of more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year and produce enough electricity to power over 15,000 households.
In addition, this project will create hundreds of temporary jobs during construction, dozens of permanent jobs after it’s complete, and contribute $20 million in revenue to the local economy over the lifetime of the project. Construction on the project will begin in the spring of 2016, with the site expected to be operational and delivering power by December 2016.
6-Megawatt Solar Installation
The second project will deliver six megawatts of renewable solar energy to the agency’s facilities. This project is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2016, generating enough power to power approximately 1,300 homes.