Federal partnership to purchase solar power as part of CO2 effort

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Forest Service, Department of Energy (DOE) and General Services Administration (GSA) have announced the first-ever federal partnership to purchase solar power.

The action, announced April 8, follows President Obama’s order last month requiring federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and increase their renewable energy use to at least 30% over the next 10 years.

The federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the nation. government-wide, the electricity bill is $5bn a year, paying for 57 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in nearly 500,000 buildings. As Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, is implemented, the annual savings are estimated to be almost $1bn in avoided energy costs.

The Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Project (FASPP) is a contract solicitation designed to take advantage of economies of scale in solar installation.

The FASPP contract solicitation will be open through Friday, May 29.

Due to contracting challenges and high costs, agencies have made limited progress installing solar systems. Agencies in the FASPP will use the same contract solicitation and contractor for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness, and third-party financing to cover upfront costs. The project includes nine federal sites in San Jose, Menlo Park, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Bruno, Santa Rosa, Carson City and Reno, and the Forest Service regional office at Mare Island.

The intent of this solicitation is to enter into a firm fixed-price (FFP) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) contract of up to 20 years with a single contractor for the purchase of electricity from a mix of rooftop, parking lot and ground-mount photovoltaic (PV) systems

Initially, the project will produce up to 5 MW of solar power across multiple federal sites in California and Nevada, according to the news release.

Businesses interested in submitting can review the Request for Proposal on FedBizOpps.gov.

Certain documents will not be released until a document security agreement has been executed and returned to Michele.Long@gsa.gov.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.