March 2012 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the operational startup of the Savannah River Site (SRS) Biomass Cogeneration Facility, a new 20 megawatt renewable energy facility located in South Carolina. The facility will primarily use local forest residue, wood chips, and bio-derived fuels.
In 2009, the DOE agreed to an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) with Ameresco to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain, and fuel the SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility under a 20-year fixed price contract valued at $795 million. The facility replaces coal and oil-fired burners; the replacement will generate about $944 million savings in energy, operation and maintenance costs over the duration of the contract.
News Release -
SRS Marks Successful Operational Startup of New Biomass Cogeneration Facility
Amy Caver, SRS, 803-952-7213;
CarolAnn Hibbard, Ameresco, 508-661-2264
July 2006 - The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that it is using renewable energy to offset all of the energy used by its buildings as well as the energy used by NREL vehicles, employee commuting, air travel and other 'life cycle' energy consumption. On-site renewable energy systems, such as wind and solar electric systems, are used to meet a portion of the laboratory's electricity needs, with these systems generating about 138,000 kWh annually. To offset the rest of its energy needs, NREL is purchasing 30 million kWh of renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the Western Area Power Administration. The laboratory has cut overall greenhouse gas emissions more than 10% since 2000, exceeding its five-year goal as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Leaders Partnership.
News Release - NREL Takes Green Powered to Next Level: Comprehensive Efforts Shrink Laboratory's Environmental Footprint
November 2005 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the federal government exceeded its goal of obtaining 2.5% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by September 30, 2005. The federal renewable energy goal was established under Executive Order 13123 issued by President Clinton in 1999. The federal government, which is the nation's largest energy consumer, is using some 2.38 billion kWh of renewable energy annually.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PDF 2.6 MB), signed into law by President Bush on August 8, establishes a new set of federal renewable energy goals, calling for agencies to derive 3% of their electric energy from renewable sources in fiscal years 2007 through 2009, increasing to 5% in fiscal years 2010 through 2012, and 7.5% by 2013 and each fiscal year thereafter.
News Release - Federal Government Increases Renewable Energy Use Over 1000 Percent since 1999; Exceeds Goal
News Release - Department of Energy Meets Secretarial Renewable Energy Goal
July 2005 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership released an updated list of its "Top 25" green power purchasers. New to the list are HSBC, with annual renewable energy usage of 68,181 MWh, Mohawk Paper Mills (45,000 MWh), Starbucks (22,500 MWh), and Syracuse University (22,000 MWh). In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy increased its purchases from about 14,000 MWh to 37,000 MWh, representing 100% of the electricity needs of its Forrestal Building headquarters.
News Release - EPA Green Power Partnership "Top 25" Partners List
Kurt Johnson (202) 343-9231
Matt Clouse (202) 343-9004
April 2004 - The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) reports that annual federal agency purchases of green power reached 527 million kWh in March 2004, an increase of 70% from July 2003. Including renewable energy generated from on-site systems, the federal government uses 1,067 million kWh of renewable energy annually, which puts it more than three-quarters of the way toward meeting the 2.5% federal renewable energy usage goal for 2005. The federal goal was established by DOE pursuant to Executive Order 13123 (PDF 104 KB), which directed federal agencies to increase their use of renewable energy.
Additional Information - Progress Towards Federal Goal
October 2002 - The U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) announced plans to purchase wind power to supply more than 10% of the electricity needed to operate its research and office facilities in eastern Washington. Under an agreement with the City of Richland, PNNL will purchase 8.8 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power from the Stateline Wind Energy Center, located on the Washington-Oregon border. As a result of the purchase, the City of Richland is considering the development of a wind energy option for its residential electricity customers.
News Release - PNNL to Use Power Produced By Local Wind Farm
PNNL Contact: Greg Koller (509) 372-4864
April 2002 - U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced on Earth Day that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will purchase green power to supply 17% of the electricity needs of its headquarters facilities in Washington, D.C. and Germantown, Maryland. Under the arrangement, the agency will purchase 6 million kWh of green power annually comprised of a blend of 25% wind power, supplied by Community Energy Inc., and 75% landfill methane, supplied by Pepco Energy Services. DOE will offset the extra cost of the green power with savings realized from the competitive power market. With the purchase, DOE will become a partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that encourages public and private organizations to purchase renewable power.
News Release - Secretary Abraham Announces DOE's Largest-Ever Purchase of Renewable Energy at Earth Day Ceremony
News Release - Community Energy Congratulates U.S. DOE and GSA On New Wind Energy Earth Day Purchase
September 2001 - The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has entered into an agreement with Xcel Energy to use wind power to meet about 10% of the laboratory's annual electricity needs. Under the three-year contract, NREL will purchase nearly 2 million kWh of wind energy each year through the utility's Windsource program at a cost of about $50,000 annually. The NREL purchase is one component of the U.S. Department of Energy's commitment to the new Federal Green Power Partnership.
NREL Contact: Chandra Shah (303) 384-7557
January 2001 - A new wind power project to be developed at the Nevada Test Site will supply green power to Nevada-based operations of the U.S. Department of Energy and help meet a national department-wide goal of obtaining 3% of the agency's power needs from green power by 2005. Additional amounts of wind energy will be sold into the regional power market.
Current plans are for 85 MW of wind energy capacity to be operational by the end of 2001 with a total build-out of 260 MW planned for the site, which is located 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
News Release - Secretary Richardson Signs Agreement to Build 2nd Largest Wind Energy Project in the United States
April 2000 - Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson announced that 30 federal agencies located along the Colorado Front Range have committed to purchase more than 10 MW of wind energy from their local electric utility companies. The announcement follows on the heels of a Secretarial directive (see April 2000 story below) for DOE to purchase 3% of its electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources by 2005 and 7.5% by 2010.
According to the Rocky Mountain News, two facilities, Fort Carson in Colorado Springs and the Rocky Flats Environmental Test Site, will account for 30% of the federal purchase. The agencies will pay a "small premium" for the wind energy and will work with DOE and their utilities to offset the higher cost with energy efficiency improvements. Nearly all electricity customers in Colorado have the option of purchasing wind energy through their local utility company.
News Release - Federal Government Agencies to Purchase Electricity Generated by the Power of the Wind - No longer online at energy.gov
News Release - 'Largest Ever' Wind Power Commitment Sets Clean Energy Example For Nation - No longer online at energy.gov
News Article - Good news in wind for Public Service - No longer online at RockyMountainNews.com
Related Link - Colorado Wind Energy Website
April 2000 - Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson marked Earth Day by directing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to purchase green power to meet a portion of its electricity needs. The directive calls for DOE to purchase 3% of its electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources by 2005 and 7.5% by 2010.
DOE is the first federal agency to proclaim a department-wide commitment to purchase electricity generated from renewable sources. The directive responds to Executive Order 13123, issued by President Clinton in June 1999, which says "each agency shall strive to use electricity from clean, efficient and renewable energy sources."
News Release - Energy Secretary Richardson Directs Department to Buy More "Green Power" - No longer online at energy.gov
DOE Media Contact: John Townsend (202) 586-5806