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Large Purchasers of Green Power

Federal Agencies

October 2010 - The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published Guidance on Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting. The guidance is in response to Executive Order 13514, signed in October 2009, which required the federal government to make reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions a priority for federal agencies. Each federal agency is directed to develop a GHG inventory and establish a GHG reduction target. According to the Guidance, federal agencies may use renewable energy purchases to reduce their GHG emissions from electricity purchases (known as "Scope 2" emissions). The Guidance requires federal agencies to make an adjustment of their Scope 2 emissions based on the non-baseload eGRID GHG emission rate of the region where the renewable energy generator is located.

News Release - Council on Environmental Quality Issues Guidance on Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting

Additional Information - Guidance on Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting (PDF 309 KB)

November 2005 - The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is seeking comments (Word 29 KB) on draft guidance (Word 45 KB) regarding federal renewable energy purchases required under Section 203 (Word 22 KB) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

FEMP is particularly interested in comments with respect to: 1) whether new renewable resources should be required to meet part or all of the goal, 2) whether renewable energy projects on federal facilities should be counted toward the federal goal if the project output is not used by the federal agency, and 3) whether thermal renewable energy should be included. FEMP developed the draft guidance in collaboration with other federal agencies that are members of the Renewable Working Group, a subcommittee of the Federal Interagency Energy Management Task Force. Comments are requested by close of business on December 7, 2005, and should be sent via email to Jim Hoelscher.

Draft Guidance - DRAFT EPACT 2005 Federal Renewable Energy Requirement Guidance - 11-18-05 - for All RWG (Word 45 KB)

Request for Comments - Request for Comment on Draft Guidance for Section 203 of EPACT 2005, Federal Purchase Requirement of Renewable Energy (Word 29 KB)

Additional Information - Renewable Energy Working Group

August 2005 - The Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law by President Bush on August 8, calls for the Secretary of Energy to "ensure that, to the extent economically feasible and technically practicable," 3% of the electric energy consumed by the federal government in fiscal years 2007 through 2009 be derived from renewable sources, increasing to 5% in fiscal years 2010 through 2012, and 7.5% by 2013 and each fiscal year thereafter.

Renewable energy is defined as "electric energy generated from solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or new hydroelectric generation capacity achieved from increased efficiency or additions of new capacity at an existing hydroelectric project."

The new law replaces Executive Order 13123, issued in 1999, which established a goal for federal agencies to obtain 2.5% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2005. Recently, the Federal Energy Management Program issued guidance to federal agencies on purchasing renewable energy.

Additional Information - See Section 203 (Federal purchase requirement) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PDF 2.6 MB)

August 2005 - The Western Area Power Administration announced that 10 entities of the U.S. Department of Energy, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, have teamed with the Fort Carson Army Base to purchase 117,825 megawatt-hours (MWhs) of renewable energy certificates (RECs) annually for the next five years. The RECs will come from a combination of biomass generation from sawmill plants in California, and wind projects located in California and Nebraska, and will be supplied by Sterling Planet, a national RECs marketer based in Norcross, GA. Western coordinated the requests for proposal for all of the agencies and also committed to purchase a portion of the RECs.

News Release - Agencies Purchase Biomass, Wind Certificates

News Release - Fort Carson Invests in Renewable Energy Production (PDF 116 KB)

Western Contact: LaVerne Kyriss (720) 962-7051

July 2005 - The U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has issued guidance for federal agencies seeking to purchase renewable energy. Agencies are encouraged to purchase renewable energy for their electricity needs under the May 2001 National Energy Policy (NEP) and Executive Order 13123 (PDF 87 KB), which established a goal for federal agencies to obtain 2.5% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2005.

The new guidance, which was developed by consensus of the FEMP Renewable Working Group, encourages federal agencies to purchase new renewables, which are defined as projects coming on-line on or after June 3, 1999, the date that Executive Order 13123 was signed. The guidance also states that federal agencies must retain the RECs and associated environmental attributes, such as emissions credits and allowances, from renewable purchases or on-site renewable energy systems in order to count toward the Federal Renewable Energy Goal. Agencies are strongly encouraged to obtain third-party verification that includes independent audits for renewable energy or REC purchases to avoid double counting and fraud. RECs must be generated during the year in which they are used to meet the goal, six months prior, or three months after.

Agencies may restrict the location of renewable resources used for their REC purchases, and are encouraged to purchase renewable energy from a diverse portfolio of renewable resources, such as renewable projects located on Native American lands or owned by small, disadvantaged businesses.

Guidance - EO 13123 Renewable Power/REC Procurement Guidance (PDF 84 KB)

Third Party Verification Guidance - FY05 Renewable Power/REC Procurement Guidance: Third Party Verification (PDF 70 KB)

August 2004 - Federal government agencies recently issued six requests for proposals (RFPs) for renewable energy supplies, seeking a collective 237 – 387 million kWh of renewable energy certificates (RECs). The RECs will be used to supply EPA facilities in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and in the West; GSA facilities in the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions; and World Bank facilities in Washington, D.C.

The green power procurements will help the federal government reach its goal of obtaining 2.5% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2005.

News Article - Federal Government Issues Six RFPs for Renewable Energy Certificates

More Information - RFP Links and Contact Information

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

September 2003 - The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) reports that federal purchases of green power have surged in recent months. Over the last year, federal purchases increased from 125 million kWh to more than 300 million kWh—the Department of Defense alone has at least 19 agreements to purchase renewable energy or renewable energy credits, totaling approximately 200 million kWh annually. Green power purchases represent nearly one-half of the renewable energy resources acquired by the federal government since 1990 to meet the intent of Executive Order 13123, which is to encourage greater use of renewable energy by the federal government.

News Article - Federal Agencies Nearing Halfway Mark to Federal Renewable Energy Goal

DOE Contact: Anne Crawley (202) 586-1505


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