News

New Energy Project Retrofit Tracking and Reporting Pathway, Tailored to State and Local Governments

eProject eXpress

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) released eProject eXpress (ePX), an updated tool to help state and local governments implement energy savings performance contracts and reap the benefits of energy efficiency.

Leveraging the established eProject Builder (ePB) platform—an online energy project data management system that has transformed how energy retrofits are developed, tracked, and reported—ePX unlocks new capabilities to meet the unique data management and reporting needs of the municipal and state governments, universities and colleges, schools, and hospitals market. Through its customized, streamlined, and secure functionality, ePX can significantly reduce customers' costs and staff time associated with tracking project data and contract agreements.

"eProject eXpress is a powerful tool for state and local governments to demonstrate the impact of energy savings performance contracts, which have already saved billions of public dollars for communities across the country," said AnnaMaria Garcia, the acting deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at DOE.

States can also leverage ePX to demonstrate the success of energy efficiency activity and programs, like state energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) programs, and illustrate how they are saving energy and employing local workers.

To learn more about this tool, see the LBNL announcement or register for the introductory training webinar on Aug. 19, 2021, from 1–2 p.m. ET. 

Energy Secretary Launches Solar Permitting Tool

Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) tool

On July 15, 2021, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm hosted the Leadership Roundtable: Empowering Cities to Accelerate Rooftop Solar Installations Across America, to introduce the new Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) tool. SolarAPP+ makes it easier for local governments to process permits for rooftop solar and solar-plus-storage. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and a broad coalition of partners—including solar companies, building safety officials, and local governments—developed SolarAPP+, and the tool has been processing solar permits with select cities. Secretary Granholm was joined by mayors whose communities are using SolarAPP+.

Watch the recording of the Leadership Roundtable.

EV Drivers Have More Options to Plug in as Charging Station Availability Grows

The number of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations continues to rise, and direct current fast chargers are the fastest growing charger type, according to a new NREL Mobility report, "Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Trends from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator: Third Quarter (Q3) 2020." 

Using data from DOE's Alternative Fueling Station Locator, this report breaks down the growth of public and private charging infrastructure by charging level, network, and location. In Q3, the public electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) increased by 5,742, bringing the total number of public EVSE in the Station Locator to 88,093 and representing a 7% increase since Q2 2020. Additionally, this report measures the current state of charging infrastructure compared with the amount projected to meet charging demand by 2030. This information is intended to help state and local transportation planners, policymakers, researchers, infrastructure developers, and others understand the rapidly changing landscape for EV charging.

Read the full report.

Pennsylvania State University Receives Top Honors at 2021 Collegiate Wind Competition

Screenshot from a virtual call during the U.S. Department of Energy's 2021 Wind Competition.

The Pennsylvania State University team is the winner of the 2021 DOE Collegiate Wind Competition. Thirteen multidisciplinary teams displayed their resilience and adaptability in a challenging year by presenting their work to a remote panel of judges at the virtual competition from June 2–10, 2021.

DOE's Collegiate Wind Competition gives undergraduate students from a range of disciplines hands-on experience and industry connections—helping prepare them for jobs in the wind and renewable energy industries. Each year, the competition identifies a new challenge to address real-world wind industry needs. The 2021 challenge focused on researching, designing, and building a wind turbine for deployment in highly uncertain times, with a significant degree of unknown risks and delays. This challenge informed the teams' work as they created their turbine designs and wind project plans and engaged with their local communities.

Read the DOE press release to see how other teams fared in the overall competition as well as in the Turbine Prototype, Project Development, and Connection Creation contests.

Virtual Events

Visualize Your Energy Future with SLOPE

A map of the United States that highlights specific data from the SLOPE Platform for individual counties across the nation.

Aug. 10, 2021, 3–4 p.m. ET

Dispersed, unintegrated, and sometimes inaccessible data can make data-driven energy planning too expensive or time-intensive for many state and local governments to pursue. To confront this issue, the State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform integrates and delivers data on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation into an easy-to-access online platform, helping enable data-driven state and local energy planning.

This webinar will demonstrate how New Mexico used SLOPE to identify clean energy opportunities to inform its Grid Modernization Roadmap project and plan for electrification of its transportation sector.

Register for the SLOPE webinar to learn how SLOPE can assist state and local governments in achieving their energy and climate goals and support their transition to a clean energy economy.

ESPC Measurement and Verification and Principles Webinar

Aug. 11, 2021, 1–2 p.m. ET

Hosted by LBNL, this one-hour webinar will showcase three resources for state and local governments that focus on ESPC measurement and verification (M&V), as well as the State ESPC Program and Project Principles document—jointly produced by the National Association of State Energy Officials, the National Association of Energy Service Companies, and the Energy Services Coalition.

Register for the ESPC M&V webinar.

Infrastructure Investments in the News

City of Fort Collins, Colorado, Receives Federal Low or No Emissions Public Transportation Grant: The City of Fort Collins, Colorado, will receive $3.52 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Low or No Emission Vehicle Grant program. The program provides funding for zero-emission and low-emission public transportation and supporting infrastructure to states and local governments. Lowering the emissions of their fleet will help the city achieve its goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.