Federal Government’s ‘Go Solar’ Efforts Paying Dividends

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As part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to improve sustainability and reduce harmful carbon emissions, the U.S. Navy and General Services Administration (GSA) have announced plans to develop more than 10 megawatts (MW) of new solar facilities in the nation’s capital, building on progress already made through the launch of the Capital Solar Challenge. “We applaud President Obama and his administration for their continued commitment to sustainability and America’s clean energy future,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

As part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to improve sustainability and reduce harmful carbon emissions, the U.S. Navy and General Services Administration (GSA) have announced plans to develop more than 10 megawatts (MW) of new solar facilities in the nation’s capital, building on progress already made through the launch of the Capital Solar Challenge. Today, nine percent of the federal government’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources, including solar, putting the White House on pace to reach its goal of 30 percent renewable energy use by 2025.

“We applaud President Obama and his administration for their continued commitment to sustainability and America’s clean energy future,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Simply put, the Capital Solar Challenge is off to a tremendous start. This program, along with other initiatives nationwide, will help the federal government save more than $18 billion over the next 10 years in avoided energy costs, significantly benefitting American taxpayers while growing our economy, improving national security and protecting the environment. By any measurement, these efforts are already paying huge dividends for our nation.”

As an example of the success of the federal government’s efforts, the Department of Defense (DOD) has added 72 MW of new solar installations to more than 60,000 DOD privatized housing units. Altogether, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all federal facilities have been reduced by more than 17 percent since 2008, according to the White House – the equivalent of taking nearly 2 million cars off the road.

Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into the economy.

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Ken Johnson
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