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Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $104 Million to Advance Net-Zero Projects at Federal Facilities

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than 4 Million to Advance Net-Zero Projects at Federal Facilities
Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than 4 Million to Advance Net-Zero Projects at Federal Facilities

ARLINGTON, Virginia — As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $104 million for energy conservation and clean energy projects at 31 Federal facilities—the latest step in President Biden’s strategy to reestablish the Federal Government as a sustainability leader. The funding announced today, from DOE’s Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) program, represents the first of three disbursements from the historic $250 million in funding for the program in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. AFFECT, established in 1992, helps agencies cut energy consumption—and taxpayers save money—through building electrification, geothermal heat pumps, on-site solar generation, and battery energy storage among other initiatives. The projects announced for funding today align with President Biden’s December 2021 Executive Order that calls for a 65% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from Federal operations by 2030, 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035, and a net-zero building portfolio by 2045.

“The Federal Government is the nation’s largest consumer of energy, and conserving as much power as possible in our buildings and vehicle fleets benefits taxpayers and bolsters our national security,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to the historic investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the projects we’re announcing today will help secure our energy independence while we fight climate change and create a healthier environment for all Americans.”

“We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation global energy transition,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. “Recent advancements in clean, renewable technology are game-changing for the nation, and for the Department of Defense. Successfully adapting to the energy transition is critical for maintaining our strategic advantages. By rethinking how we generate, distribute, and use energy, DoD is making our installations more resilient, better securing our critical infrastructure, and saving money — a win for warfighters and taxpayers alike.”

“President Biden has charged the Federal Government to lead by example by transforming its footprint of over 300,000 buildings to be more energy efficient and climate resilient, which means cleaner air across the country,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. “This investment, part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, will help achieve the Administration’s ambitious Federal sustainability goals while creating thousands of good-paying jobs, saving taxpayers money, and building healthier communities.”

Secretary Granholm, Deputy Secretary Hicks, and Chair Mallory announced the projects today at The Pentagon. Projects were selected for facilities of the Social Security Administration; the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, the Interior; Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the U.S. General Services Administration; and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Selected projects include:

  • Installation of rooftop solar panels, a heat-recovery heat pump system, and solar thermal panels to reduce reliance on natural gas and fuel oil combustion systems at U.S. Department of Defense’s Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia;
  • Installation of LED lights and occupancy sensors in low-occupancy areas and application of PV film on south-facing windows to conserve and generate energy at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.;
  • Replacement of evaporator diesel-powered boilers with electric boilers, with the potential to save $16 million in fuel costs per year, in the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant at DOE’s Hanford Site in Richland, Washington; and
  • Replacement of a 35-year-old HVAC system with high-efficiency equipment, making enhancements to the building envelope including window replacements, and installation of a new 75-kilowatt solar PV system and an advanced metering system, and implementation of water conservation measures at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maui Air Traffic Control Tower in Kahului, Hawaii.

View the full list of the projects.

The 31 selected projects are expected to double the amount of new carbon-free electricity capacity at Federal facilities over the amount brought online in 2022, resulting in 27 megawatts of additional clean-energy capacity. The projects will help Federal funding go further by leveraging more than $361 million in private investment.

In the first year of operation, the projects are expected to:

  • Save more than $29 million in energy and water costs;
  • Remove the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the air as taking 23,042 gasoline-powered vehicles off the roads; and
  • Reduce energy usage by the equivalent of 29,662 homes’ annual electricity use. 

The AFFECT program is managed by DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and provides funding to Federal agencies to help meet energy- and water-related goals by identifying affordable solutions, facilitating public-private partnerships, and leveraging best practices to promote energy leadership.

There was an unprecedented number of applications for this round of funding, with submissions from 16 different agencies. Each agency with selected projects will use the funding for equipment and technical assistance to plan, develop, and implement its project.

Following President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Executive Orders, the Administration announced its Federal Building Performance Standard (FBPS), which sets a goal for Federal agencies to achieve zero direct greenhouse gas emissions in 30% of government-owned buildings by 2030. Additionally, the Administration’s Climate Smart Buildings Initiative (CSBI) leverages public-private partnerships to modernize Federal buildings and catalyze more than $8 billion in private sector investment by 2030. The selected projects contribute to reaching these ambitious goals.

AFFECT Phase 2 to Open This Month
FEMP will begin accepting applications for the second round of AFFECT funding in January 2024. All energy and sustainability stakeholders across federal agencies, as well as private sector organizations and utilities, are encouraged to engage in the program to drive clean, healthy, and resilient Federal operations. Interested parties can subscribe to the FEMP Digest for the latest AFFECT news, feedback opportunities, and best practices for submitting Phase 2 applications.

Originally published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/biden-harris-administration-announces-more-104-million-advance-net-zero-projects-federal