GSA Administrator cuts ribbon on grid-interactive and smart building technologies at Oklahoma City Federal Building
May 11, 2023
Completed Multi-Year Project will Reduce Energy Use by 41%, Save Taxpayers Millions
OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Robin Carnahan visited Oklahoma City for a ribbon cutting event to announce the completed installation of new grid-interactive and smart building technologies that make the Oklahoma City Federal Building a national model for clean energy innovation and efficiency.
The “deep energy retrofit” project was made possible through a Utility Energy Service Contract with Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) and their selected energy service company (ESCO) Ameresco, encompassing the Oklahoma City Federal Building and four other Oklahoma federal buildings. It will result in energy cost savings achieved through new grid-interactive efficient building (GEB) technologies, a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, lighting controls, a battery energy storage system (BESS), and new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) controls. The funding was supported through a grant from the Department of Energy and GSA appropriations totaling around $11 million.
GEB technologies connect the federal building with the power grid in a new way that dynamically adjusts with the needs of the grid to coordinate energy loads, manage energy demands, and optimize energy use. The project is expected to reduce energy use by 41%, cut 3,100 metric tons of carbon emissions, and save about $400,000 annually in energy and water costs at today’s prices.
“We are proud to deliver on GSA’s first project that demonstrates how we can transform federal buildings into high-tech clean energy hubs that dynamically interact with the grid, generate their own energy, and make the grid stronger and more resilient for the surrounding community,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “Right here in Oklahoma City, this project is a groundbreaking model for the kind of innovation that we hope to replicate across the country through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – creating good jobs, saving taxpayer dollars through energy efficiency, and ensuring a healthier, brighter future for our communities and our kids.”
“Oklahoma City has long been a home of energy innovation, and it is fitting for this model project to occur at our Federal building,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “I thank the GSA for its investment here and Administrator Carnahan for her personal visit.”
“We are committed to providing our customers with reliable and resilient energy, and we were pleased to work with GSA to help them achieve their energy and sustainability goals,” said Donnie Jones, vice president of utility operations for OG&E. “By advancing solar and wind energy in Oklahoma, we support innovative projects like this one that expand clean energy options for customers.”
“We are grateful to be a continued partner to the GSA on this use of grid interactive and smart building technologies at an impressive scale,” said Nicole Bulgarino, Executive Vice President at Ameresco. “This project demonstrates tangible progress in the clean energy transition. We commend the forward-thinking leadership for this essential installation, which will result in the reduction of energy use, water consumption and carbon emissions all while increasing energy cost savings.”
President Biden has charged the federal government to lead by example by sustainably managing its footprint of over 300,000 buildings, over 600,000 vehicles, and $650 billion spent annually on goods and services. On Dec. 8, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14057 and issued his Federal Sustainability Plan, which directs the federal government to achieve net zero emissions by transitioning federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and energy efficient buildings, powered by carbon pollution-free electricity.
The completion of this project will help GSA continue on the path to achieve the net-zero-emissions buildings goal by 2045, leveraging smart investments, many funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
The Department of Energy developed a case study for the project, which won the FEMP director’s national award in 2022.
For more information, see this recent GSA blog.
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 approximately $75 billion in annual 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, and technology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit GSA.gov and follow us at @USGSA.