The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced a Request for Information (RFI) to gather market information and capabilities in supplying carbon pollution-free electricity to the federal government. This is an important step forward in transforming how the U.S. government buys and manages electricity, and it puts the nation on a path to achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035.
“This action represents a key initial milestone in meeting the President’s goal of powering Federal facilities with 24/7 carbon pollution-free electricity,” said Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Mayock. “By leveraging the government’s scale and procurement power to become a carbon-free electricity leader, the Biden-Harris Administration will accelerate the development of America’s emerging clean tech industries, create good jobs for American workers, and provide a strong foundation for American businesses to compete and win globally in the 21st century economy.”
“As one of the largest electricity users in the country, the Department of Defense has an opportunity to lead the way in transitioning to carbon-free electricity,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. “It’s not just critical to addressing the threat of climate change, but also to our national security as we work to secure US competitiveness in rapidly-shifting global energy markets. The RFI we released today sends a clear signal to the market that the Department of Defense is well underway in our efforts to support President Biden’s Executive Order to achieve a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035.”
The Department of Defense is the largest energy user in the federal government and one of the largest electricity purchasers in the world. The Department intends to leverage that scale to accelerate the deployment of carbon pollution-free electricity and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while also ensuring secure energy supplies for military installations.
“As a leader in procuring electricity for government, GSA is committed to working with DoD and other partner agencies to move us all toward sourcing 100% carbon pollution-free electricity,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “Powering the federal government with 100 percent clean energy will mean more clean jobs in communities, more clean energy sources in the market, and a cleaner planet for everyone. With help from industry and key partners like DoD, we can put the country on the path toward a more resilient and sustainable future.”
This RFI follows President Biden’s signing of the Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability (EO 14057), which directed the federal government to use 100% carbon pollution-free electricity on a net annual basis by 2030, including 50% on a 24/7 (hourly matching) basis.
The objectives of this RFI are to:
- Demonstrate the intent to achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity for federal operations by using a whole-of-government approach;
- Understand the ability of industry to supply 24×7 hourly matched carbon pollution-free electricity, and gather pricing information based on scale; and
- Gather information from industry on potential approaches to meeting the targets set by the Federal Sustainability Plan.
Today’s announcement is a part of the Administration’s larger goal to combat the climate crisis, including working to curb emissions, strengthen resilience, create jobs, protect public health, catalyze private sector investment, spur innovation, expand the economy, and advance equity.
To read the full RFI, please click here.
With more than 300,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles, the federal government is the nation’s largest energy consumer. In the United States, the federal government consumes electricity almost exclusively from the power grid, where carbon pollution-free electricity made up about 40 percent of electricity generated in 2020. The federal government buys most of its electricity via contracts issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) and DoD’s Defense Logistics Agency. The Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program provides agencies with the information, tools, and assistance they need to meet their energy-related requirements and goals .
To achieve its 24/7 carbon pollution-free electricity goal, the federal government will work with utilities, developers, technology firms, financiers and others to purchase electricity produced from resources that generate no carbon emissions, including solar and wind, for all its operations by 2030. Half of the federal government’s 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity annual demand will be procured on a 24/7 basis, meaning that the federal government’s real-time demand for electricity will be met with clean energy every hour, every day, and produced within the same regional grid where the electricity is consumed. With the scope and scale of this electricity demand, the federal government expects it will catalyze the development of at least 10 gigawatts of new American clean electricity production by 2030.
Learn more about EO 14057 and the Federal Sustainability Plan: www.sustainability.gov