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Federal Solar Power Partnership: Here Comes the Sun

Federal Solar Power Partnership: Here Comes the Sun

Federal agencies partner on solar installation plans to meet standards set by President Obama.

For the first time, federal government agencies have developed a solar purchasing partnership plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency, Forest Service, Department of Energy and General Services Administration created the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Project (or FASPP) in response to a March executive order requiring federal agencies to in the next 10 years cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent and increase renewable energy use 30 percent.

The FASPP is a contract solicitation that allows the participating agencies to use economies of scale to purchase solar power and eliminate the contracting and cost hurdles that have impeded agency adoption of solar systems.

Under the project, 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 will initially produce up to 5 megawatts of solar power.

“By combining the procurement for these nine sites, we anticipate realizing lower utility rates. This innovative strategy, if successful, will serve as a model that can be replicated across the country,” said Samuel J. Morris III, GSA’s acting Pacific Rim regional administrator.

Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service, said the solar arrays to be installed at the agency’s regional office will offset about 90 percent of the site’s electrical use.

The FASPP contract solicitation will be open through May 29.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region was inspired to develop FASPP after seeing the success of Silicon Valley’s local government aggregated procurement.

The DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided technical expertise.

The GSA will provide contracting and project management services and the Forest Service and GSA will host the solar systems and buy the renewable energy. 

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