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Biden-Harris Administration announces agreement to supply federal facilities in three southern states with 100% carbon pollution-free electricity

Memorandum of understanding between GSA and the Southern Company sparked by President Biden’s executive order reestablishing federal government as a sustainability leader

WASHINGTON – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding [PDF - 1 MB] (MOU) between GSA and Southern Company to develop carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) options for federal facilities in Southern Company’s service territories. The MOU documents the intent of GSA and Southern Company to collaborate on development of a roadmap that, when executed, will lead to federal agencies in that region buying more CFE and achieving reliability and resiliency objectives outlined in Executive Order 14057.

The Biden-Harris Administration is leading by example to tackle the climate crisis through President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan, which establishes an ambitious path to achieve 100% CFE for Federal government operations by 2030, including 50% on a 24/7 basis, along with aggressive goals for electric vehicles and net-zero emissions buildings.

“This is our fourth MOU with a utility company and it’s another example of how GSA is leading by example in tackling climate change, using our buying power and real estate footprint to move markets, create demand, drive efficiency, and catalyze efficiency and clean energy innovation,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “Through smart partnerships with energy service providers, we can help advance sustainability, create jobs, save taxpayer dollars, and ensure a healthier planet for our kids.”

“Today’s announcement delivers on President Biden’s vision to build a new economy powered by clean energy—one that creates well-paying jobs for American workers, healthier air for communities, and increases our energy independence,” said Andrew Mayock, the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer with the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Southern Company has a goal to reach a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, from 2007 emissions levels, and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Currently, the United States Army is the largest federal customer served by Southern Company.

“The Department  of Defense and the Army are committed to using carbon-free energy to support our national defense mission,” said the Honorable  Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the United States Army, Installations, Energy and Environment. “Distributed Carbon-free energy generation–when integrated into a modernized grid that includes large-scale storage, upgraded transmission lines, and enhanced cybersecurity controls - is the best way to promote resilience so we can continue to deploy, fight, and win the nation’s wars. The Army applauds the GSA-Southern Company agreement. The agreement demonstrates the exact kind of collaboration that is key to improving the reliability and resilience of the commercial grid and achieving our carbon-free energy and readiness goals.”

“Southern Company recognizes the importance of developing and supplying carbon-free electricity as we continue our efforts toward our goal of reaching net zero by 2050,” said Chris Womack, CEO and president of Southern Company. “Through industry-leading innovation and a commitment to a net zero future, we are delivering sustainable and resilient energy solutions that help drive growth and prosperity. This partnership will serve as another important step toward these goals.”

GSA will continue to engage with Southern Company and other utilities to explore the advancement of potential CFE solutions including solar, battery storage, nuclear power, on-site generation and new sustainable technologies like clean hydrogen.

For more information on GSA’s leadership in tackling the climate crisis and investing in a more sustainable future, please see GSA’s Climate Action and Sustainability webpage.

Background:

Today’s action advances President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan, which aims to create demand for local clean energy and create a more stable and resilient grid while supporting well-paying jobs. The Biden-Harris Administration continues to make progress under the plan to power federal facilities with 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030, including:  

 With more than 300,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles, the federal government is the nation’s largest energy consumer. To achieve its 24/7 CFE goal, the federal government is working with utilities, developers, and others to purchase electricity produced from resources that generate no carbon emissions, including solar and wind, for all its operations by 2030. With the scope and scale of this electricity demand, the federal government expects it will catalyze the development of at least 10 gigawatts of new American clean electricity production by 2030.

About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing about $87 billion in products and services via federal contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition, andtechnology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit gsa.gov and follow us at @USGSA.

About Southern Company: Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy provider serving 9 million customers across the Southeast and beyond through its family of companies. Providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy with excellent service is our mission. The company has electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company, a leading distributed energy distribution company with national capabilities, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, resilience and sustainability, we are taking action to meet customers' and communities' needs while advancing our goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and are the key to our sustained success. We are transforming energy into economic, environmental and social progress for tomorrow. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have earned the company national awards and recognition from numerous organizations, including Forbes, The Military Times, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, J.D. Power, Fortune, Human Rights Campaign and more. To learn more, visit www.southerncompany.com.