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New Presidential Directive for Federal Agencies May Mean More Value for Renewable Energy Projects and Commercial Buildings

December 17, 2013

On December 5, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum directing that each federal agency should aim to achieve the following renewable energy targets for their annual energy consumption:

  • 10% in 2015;
  • 15% in 2016 and 2017;
  • 17.5% in 2018 and 2019; and
  • 20% in 2020 and each fiscal year thereafter.

The memorandum directs each agency to pursue these targets “to the extent economically feasible and technically practicable” and lists the following actions that each agency should take (in order of priority):

  • Install agency-funded renewable energy on-site at federal facilities, while retaining renewable energy certificates;
  • Pursue energy contracts that include the installation of a renewable energy project on-site or off-site, while retaining renewable energy certificates for the length of the contract;
  • Purchase electricity and corresponding renewable energy certificates; and
  • Purchase renewable energy certificates alone.

The memorandum also directs each agency to take additional steps to enhance energy efficiency at agency facilities.

These initiatives are likely to create additional opportunities for businesses that contract with federal agencies, particularly those involved in energy consulting, renewable energy production, and real estate development where federal agencies are tenants. In addition, these initiatives may increase the demand for renewable energy certificates from qualified renewable energy projects.

The full memorandum can be found here.

Please contact Art Harrington, Matt Kemp or any other member of Godfrey & Kahn’s Environmental & Energy Strategies Practice Group if you have any questions about the application of this new presidential directive relating to renewable energy projects.

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