The annual solicitation allows agencies to sign a statement of interest, a non-binding document that states the kinds of renewable energy projects the agency would like to support.
Western Area Power Administration consolidates agencies’ statements of interest into one solicitation, executes interagency agreements and the contracts with the REC suppliers. These statements can vary, depending on the locale and mission of the agency.
“If you’re a federal agency in the Upper Great Plains region, you may be more apt to support local wind power than you would to support a solar project in Arizona,” said Randy Manion, Western’s renewable resource manager, in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
A 2009 executive order from President Barack Obama directed agencies to establish a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Agencies must also carry out energy consumption goals in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which set a goal that agencies must get 5 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2012 and 7-1/2 percent from renewable sources by 2013.
Tracy Logan, program analyst with the Federal Energy Management Program at Energy, said the solicitation allows savings that agencies could not achieve through individual solicitations.
“Having several agencies come together to aggregate their demand can help reduce the cost of the RECs,” Logan said.
Last year, the solicitation included six federal agencies and six REC suppliers due to the specifications of the different sites, Manion said.
Since 2002, Western has administered RECs that have helped 35 federal agency sites and procured 3,912 gigawatt hours of renewable energy credits, he said.
In other words, “One way to look at that would be 133 utility-scale wind turbines generating energy for 10 continues years,” Manion said. “That would be the approximate amount of renewable energy certificates produced.” It’s also equal to taking 528,000 passenger vehicles off the road, Manion added.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.