Nation’s First Federal Combined Solar Power Purchase Launched

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Energy and General Services Administration announced the first ever federal partnership to purchase solar power. This action follows President Obama’s order last month requiring federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and increase their renewable energy use to at least 30 percent over the next 10 years.

Click to read document

Click to read document

The federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the nation. Government-wide, the electricity bill is $5 billion a year, paying for 57 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in nearly 500,000 buildings. As Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, is implemented, the annual savings are estimated to be almost $1 billion in avoided energy costs.

The Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Project (or FASPP) is a contract solicitation designed to take advantage of economies of scale in solar installation. Due to contracting challenges and high costs, agencies have made limited progress installing solar systems. Agencies in the FASPP will use the same contract solicitation and contractor for greater efficiency and cost effectiveness, and third-party financing to cover upfront costs. The project includes 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. Initially, the project will produce up to 5 megawatts of solar power across multiple federal sites in California and Nevada.

“This model can help us achieve the President’s Executive Order calling for federal agencies to work together on procurements to increase clean energy use,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By combining our efforts with our federal partners at the Forest Service, Department of Energy, and GSA, we are proving that solar power and other clean energy will save money, protect our air and water, and help us fight climate change.”

“It is an honor to be involved in this cutting-edge, collaborative project that directly supports the federal sustainability goals of the next decade,” said Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service. “The solar arrays planned for our Regional Office will offset approximately 90 percent of projected electrical use and demonstrate our commitment to increasing use of renewable energy and striving for more net-zero energy facilities.”

“Procurements like the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Pilot will help agencies achieve expanded renewable energy goals,” said Tim Unruh, Director of DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program. The Energy Department is committed to developing and delivering new technologies and practices that can accelerate existing solutions to scale, addressing our nation’s long-term energy goals.”

“Issuing this solicitation is the latest in GSA’s ongoing efforts to green the federal government and to provide additional savings to GSA customers and ultimately to the American taxpayer,” said Samuel J. Morris III, GSA’s Acting Pacific Rim Regional Administrator. “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.”

Inspired by the success of Silicon Valley’s local government aggregated procurement, EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region convened a strong team of federal entities interested in procuring renewable energy produced at their facilities. GSA agreed to provide contracting and project management support. DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided technical expertise and support. The Forest Service and GSA plan to host the solar systems and buy the renewable energy.

The FASPP contract solicitation will be open through Friday, May 29, 2015. Businesses interested in submitting can review the Request for Proposal on FedBizOpps.gov.

HPCSN Announces 4th Annual Hawaii Charter School Awardees

Hawaii Public Charter School Network (HPCSN) will honor charter schools and leaders at the 2014-2015 Hawaii Charter Schools Awards, taking place Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Today, HPCSN announced a list of awardees, including:

voyager PCS

Charter School of the Year

  • Voyager Public Charter School, Honolulu, Oahu

Most Improved Charter School

  • Innovations New Century Public Charter Schools, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Creating New Best Practices

  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Kawaikini Public Charter School, Lihue, Kauai

Circle of Teaching Excellence

  • Mary Quijano, Na Wai Ola Public Charter School, Mountain View, Hawaii
  • Heather Nakakura, West Hawaii Explorations Academy, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Kananinohea Makaimoku, Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki Laboratory Public Charter School, Hilo, Hawai‘i

Governing Board Member of the Year

  • Philip Whitesell, PhD, Lanikai Elementary School, Kailua, Oahu

Charter Leader of the Year

  • Jennifer Hiro, Innovations New Century Public Charter Schools, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

“We look forward to celebrating the innovation and achievement that happens every in charter classrooms across Hawaii,” said Lynn Finnegan, Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network.

“This year’s theme, ‘Changing the Education Paradigm,” encompasses what charter schools are all about.  Despite many challenges, charter schools are doing more with less and delivering effective models of education.”

“Through our advocacy and support services, HPCSN works to help schools navigate these challenges, especially those unique to charter schooling in Hawaii, so that charter schools can focus on what they do best, educating students,” Finnegan added.

All awardees above as well as Legislators of the Year and Community Partner of the Year (yet to be selected) will be honored at the 4th Annual Hawaii Charter Schools Awards dinner.  The dinner is open to the public and tickets can be purchased by phone at 808-380-6403 or online at http://2015hawaiicharterschoolsawards.eventbrite.com/.