Forest Service Acquisition Management wins 2017 Federal Energy and Water Management Award

Last month, a Forest Service Acquisition Management staff member was recognized by receipt of a Federal Energy and Water Management Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.  The award recognizes individuals, groups and agencies for their outstanding contributions in such areas as energy efficiency, water conservation, and the use of advanced and renewable energy technologies at Federal facilities. This particular award was given for an aggregated Solar Photovoltaic project, representing multiple locations, to a group.

The winners of the 2017 DOE Federal Energy and Water Management Awards were honored during a Nov. 2 ceremony held at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Guest speakers included Forest Service Acting Associate Chief for Business Operations Tina Terrell, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy and Sustainability) Jack Surash and Department of Energy’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel Simmons. 

As the first ever federal partnership to collectively purchase solar Power, this project, entitled the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Pilot, was selected as a segment of the White House GreenGov Spotlight Communities Program under the purview of the Federal Environmental Executive, Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President.  

Included in this Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Pilot were other Federal organizations such as the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. General Services Administration and the DOE Federal Energy Management Program, as well as two DOE National Laboratories—Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The U.S. Coast Guard was formerly part of this effort, too.  Some of these federal entities were represented at the ceremony, sharing in this honor. 

The FASPP honorees named under the DOE Award category of “contracting,” were:

  • Marilyn (Renee) Jewell, Forest Service (Pacific Southwest Region);
  • Mark Levi, U.S. General Services Administration;
  • Gerald T. Robinson, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory;
  • Ray Saracino, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and
  • Chandra Shah, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The description of the project as depicted on the Department of Energy’s website is:

“In an effort to reduce internal agency overhead costs by sharing procurement and project management resources, the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement team developed a contracting solution designed to take advantage of economies of scale in solar installation, with no up-front cost to the government. FASPP demonstrates a nationally replicable process whereby federal agencies leverage combined purchasing power to procure on-site solar energy more efficiently, while saving money on utility bills. FASPP combined several small- to mid-sized federal photovoltaic installation opportunities within northern California and Nevada into a single procurement. The selected solar developer, SolarCity of San Mateo, California, will design, build, own and operate the PV systems on eight federal properties and sell power to the Federal government. Aggregation of multiple sites allowed some of the smaller sites, which may not have been economically viable on their own, to receive competitive bid prices. The solar power is less expensive than grid-based power, will not escalate in price, and is projected to save the government about $5 million in energy costs while producing more than 120 Gigawatt-hours of renewable energy over the 20-year contract term.”

This award shows how partnerships with other federal agencies and private industry can achieve results and save taxpayer dollars. Congratulations to our partners and to Renee Jewell for their ingenuity, innovation and the development of creative solutions to achieve results.

Forest Service Acquisition Management team at the 2017 Department of Energy Federal Energy and Water Management awards. Department of Energy photo.