The US Forest Service’s Technology and Development Center received the White House’s 2013 GreenGov Presidential Award and the US Department of Energy’s 2013 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for its net zero energy facility project in San Dimas, Calif.
A facility earns a net zero energy designation if it produces more renewable energy than it uses per year. This is the first facility of its kind in the Department of Agriculture.
The Center’s net zero energy status was accomplished by first installing numerous energy-saving measures to the 48-year-old facility. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the administration building were replaced and 1,288 solar panels were on 1.5 acres to produce up to 600,000 kWh of energy each year.
The system generates more than double the facility’s energy needs, and SCE applies a credit to both the Center and the Angeles National Forest Supervisor’s Office for excess energy the system generates.
The Department of Energy also recognized the Center for the same facility project and the Forest Service’s Northern Region for executing a $2.6 million Energy Savings Performance Contract in Fiscal Year 2012.
The GreenGov awards are distributed annually to honor personnel and programs that have taken innovative steps to reduce energy use and carbon pollution, curb waste and save taxpayer money in federal agency operations. This is the fourth year for the awards.