The Obama Administration on Oct. 14 set a new goal for civilian agencies to procure and facilitate development of 1 gigawatt of new renewable electricity by 2021.
This goal promotes installation of renewable energy on federal land, the development of new solar through power purchase agreements, and procurement of bundled green energy to power federal facilities. Additionally, this target will also incentivize projects on federal land where the government is not the sole user, such as enhanced use leases and facilitation of private development.
This goal builds on last year’s goal that 30 percent of electricity used by the federal government will come from renewable sources by 2025, and solar will play a large part. Since 2010, federal agencies have increased use of solar five-fold, with solar now accounting for 19 percent of renewable electricity use and 180 megawatts of onsite power.
In 2012, President Obama had announced the Department of Defense's commitment to deploy three gigawatts on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes.
On the same day as the President's announcement for civilian agencies, the Department of Navy, Department of Energy, Sempra Energy, and the White House Office of Federal Sustainability participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the operationalization of 210 megawatts of solar power at the Mesquite III facility in Arizona, the federal government's largest investment in clean energy in history.