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Recovery Act Project Stories

Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, these Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) projects exemplify the range of technical assistance provided to federal agencies.

U.S. Pacific Command

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) collaborated with FEMP and six DOE national laboratories to solve some of USPACOM's most pressing energy needs. The USPACOM energy goal was to develop an integrated, expanded approach for all Oahu, Hawaii, military installations. The Oahu work developed a template to be applied next in Guam, Alaska, Japan, and Korea. This work advanced USPACOM's energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy manager training, and micro grid assessments. Under FEMP funding, the following six DOE national laboratories carried out energy tasks across military services in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and Japan:

  • Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL)
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  • Sandia National Laboratory (SNL)

U.S. Army Fort Bliss

U.S. Army Fort Bliss was selected by the Army as a pioneer in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and as a model for Army installations. FEMP supported this effort and implemented Army Energy Security Tiger Team recommendations. The approach was to invest appropriated funds to build renewable power plants for Army energy security. The goal was to generate enough energy to supply the expansion at Fort Bliss; the installation added 10 million square feet to accommodate a population increase from 24,000 to 90,000. Offsetting the expected increase in energy use required 20 MW to 40 MW of renewable generation capacity for 200 GWh/year at an estimated investment of $150 million in 2011.

U.S. Northern Command

DOD U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) received integrated technical assistance from FEMP. NREL, Sandia, and PNNL each undertook the following technical assistance activities.

  • NREL completed renewable energy assessments at eight Rocky Mountain installations (Fort Carson, U.S. Air Force Academy, Peterson AFB, FE Warren, Cheyenne Mountain, Buckley AFB, Schriever AFB, and Pueblo AFB) using its Renewable Energy Optimization (REO) tool. REO determines the most cost-effective combination of energy technologies at a facility level.

    REO results indicated use of solar ventilation preheating, solar water heating, ground source heat pumps, and wind energy would reduce the overall 25-year life cycle cost of energy compared to fossil-fuel based utility services. To further reduce fossil-fuel dependence and achieve net zero energy, additional technologies could be implemented, including photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, and daylighting. Payback periods for the minimum life cycle cost solutions at each installation range between seven and 23 years, while payback for the net zero solutions range between 39 and 79 years.

  • PNNL conducted a study of federal and state regulatory environments to identify regulations that may constrain DOD from developing a regional smart grid test bed. PNNL found that relying on generation at each base is more cost effective and does not require grid modifications or changes to state electric industry regulations. Based on these findings, remaining tasks focused on increasing energy security at individual bases.

  • Sandia and NREL each provided technical assistance to Fort Carson. NREL performed assessments focused on two components: Net zero energy installation assessment and EV grid integration study. Sandia provided a secure micro grid design.

    The NREL study began with a baseline of current electrical, thermal, and transportation/fleet energy consumption. NREL then identified energy conservation and efficiency projects that could minimize energy demand economically. NREL also examined renewable energy generation technologies to determine their potential to meet remaining energy loads. The study concluded with analyzing fleet fuel use for opportunities to switch to alternative fuels or EVs. Together, these pieces provided an assessment for efficiency, renewables, and transportation energy projects that reduced Fort Carson's reliance on fossil-fuels and increase energy security.

    Sandia also performed an energy security micro grid (ESM) design for Fort Carson. The team assessed critical mission requirements, evaluated how to use conventional and renewable energy resources to meet those needed, and evaluated how to operate in a secure, islanded manner. Beginning with micro grid assessments, Sandia aimed to enhance operational effectiveness while reducing energy demands and increasing energy resilience by developing alternative and assured fuels and energy. By incorporating smart grid architecture and processes to enhance energy assurance, Sandia balanced system safety, security, reliability, cost effectiveness, and sustainability.

Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Tracking Systems

In addition to technical assistance projects, FEMP Recovery Act funding went toward three program projects:

  • Energy, Water, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting and Tracking Systems: A total of $2.5 million in Recovery Act funding improved FEMP's ability to assist federal agencies with energy investment decisions. These funds implemented statutory-mandated reporting activities that track the federal government's progress toward energy-efficiency goals and project activity implemented with more than $11 billion of Recovery Act funding provided to the General Services Administration and other agencies as well as out-year investments.

    FEMP also improved data systems and analysis capabilities through information technology upgrades and enhancements to integrate disparate data systems. This included developing, beta testing, and deploying the Web-based facility energy and compliance tracking system mandated under Section 432 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007.

  • Greenhouse Gas Management and Abatement: A total of $3 million of Recovery Act funding was allocated to FEMP to develop comprehensive tools and resources for greenhouse gas management and abatement. This integrated with existing energy management activities across federal agencies to assist in reducing agency carbon footprints. Activities included developing recommendations for greenhouse gas accounting and reporting guidance and assisting agencies in measuring and reducing emissions.

    Federal agencies were provided with greenhouse gas management tools to help them meet increasingly stringent greenhouse gas, energy-efficiency, and renewable energy (EERE) goals. The project provided a roadmap to a climate-neutral federal government that incorporated accelerated deployment of EERE technologies.

  • Energy Management Training: A total of $960,000 of Recovery Act funding was allocated to training federal agencies about energy management activities. The program included training sessions available to federal agencies via webcast or satellite broadcast. Topics ranged from energy management 101 to greenhouse gas management to operations and maintenance. Guides, toolkits, and white papers were also developed to serve as course materials and resources for FEMP training activities.

    In addition to the live training seminars, FEMP built a central training database that lists all in-person and on-demand training opportunities. The database allows federal agencies to receive training live or on demand through pre-recorded training modules.