DOE Announces $104M for Variety of Net-Zero Projects at 31 Major Federal Facilities

Jan. 19, 2024
During their first year of operation, the projects are expected to save over $29 million in energy and water costs and reduce energy usage equivalent to 29,662 homes' annual electricity use

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda, the Department of Energy has announced $104 million for energy conservation and clean energy projects at 31 Federal facilities.

The fund – provided by the DOE’s Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) program – represents the first of three disbursements from the $250 million in funding made available by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The AFFECT program helps agencies cut energy consumption and save taxpayers money through several initiatives, such as building electrification, geothermal heat pumps, on-site solar generation, and battery energy storage.

The projects funded under this program align with President Biden’s Executive Order calling for a 65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from Federal operations by 2030, zero-emissions vehicle acquisitions by 2035, and net-zero building portfolios 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 US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “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.”

The funding will go towards projects that focus on upgrading facilities for selected Federal institutions, such as the Social Security Administration, the US Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Interior, the US General Services Administration, and Veterans Affairs.

Selected projects include:

  • Installing rooftop solar panels, a heat-recovery heat pump system, and solar thermal panels at the Department of Defense’s Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
  • Installing LED lights and occupancy sensors and applying PV films on windows to conserve and generate energy at the Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  • Replacing evaporator diesel-powered boilers with electric boilers to save $16 million in fuel costs annually at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant at the DOE’s Hanford Site in Richland, Washington.
  • Replacing a 35-year-old HVAC system with high-efficiency equipment and installing a 75 kW solar PV system with an advanced metering system at the Department of Transportation’s Maui Air Traffic Control Tower in Kahului, Hawaii.

In total, the 31 selected projects are expected to double the amount of new carbon-free electricity capacity at Federal facilities as compared to 2022, resulting in 27 MW of additional clean-energy capacity.

During their first year of operation, the projects are also expected to:

  • Save over $29 million in energy and water costs.
  • Remove greenhouse gas emissions from the air equivalent to taking more than 23,000 gas-powered vehicles off the road.
  • Reduce energy usage equivalent to 29,662 homes’ annual electricity use.

“President Biden has charged the Federal Government to lead by example by transforming its footprint of over 300,000 builds 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… will help achieve the Administration’s ambitious Federal sustainability goals while creating thousands of good-paying jobs, saving taxpayers money, and building healthier communities,” Mallory added.