DOE Announces First Projects Under New Cleanup to Clean Energy Initiative

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DOE Announces First Projects Under New Cleanup to Clean Energy Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the first proposed projects selected under the Department’s Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative, an innovative effort to repurpose parts of DOE-owned lands—portions of which were previously used in the nation’s nuclear weapons program—into sites of clean-energy generation. DOE will enter into lease negotiations with two solar energy developers for carbon-free electricity generation projects within the 890-square-mile Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site with a goal of producing 400 megawatts (MW) of solar power—enough to power 70,000 homes. The Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to leveraging federal properties to support the buildout of utility-scale clean energy projects.  

“Tens of thousands of acres of DOE-owned land across the nation are being transformed into thriving centers of carbon-free power generation,” said U.S. Energy of Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “Working closely with community leaders and private sector partners, we’re cleaning up land once used in our nuclear deterrence programs and deploying the clean energy solutions we need to help save the planet and strengthen our energy independence.”   

“President Biden directed the Federal Government to use its scale and procurement power, as the nation’s largest energy consumer and land manager, to support the growth of America’s clean energy industry and clean energy jobs, and do so in ways that are good for our taxpayers and our communities,” said Andrew Mayock, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer in the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Through DOE’s Cleanup to Clean Energy Initiative, we will spur new clean electricity production, which is good for our climate, our economy, and our national security.”   

In July 2023, DOE announced the Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative to repurpose parts of DOE-owned lands for clean energy generation. This initiative will help the nation achieve President Biden’s ambitious climate goals and responds to the directive in Executive Order 14057  and the accompanying Federal Sustainability Plan for agencies to use their properties for the development of new clean electricity generation.      

DOE expects NorthRenew Energy Partners and Spitfire to deploy hundreds of new MW of carbon-free electricity to the grid at DOE’s INL site. In particular: 

  • NorthRenew Energy Partners proposes to install photovoltaics along with battery storage to produce more than 300 MW of carbon-free electricity on approximately 2,000 acres of land at the INL site.
  • Spitfire proposes to install photovoltaics along with battery storage to produce 100 MW of carbon-free electricity on approximately 500 acres of land at the INL site. 

The two selected developers will now enter into negotiations with DOE to enter into leases for the development of the proposed photovoltaic projects. Before leases are issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.     

In December 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14057, which calls on agencies to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2030 and directs them to authorize use of their real property assets, including land for the development of new clean electricity generation and storage through leases, grants, permits, or other mechanisms. As the leading federal agency on clean energy research and development, DOE has both a unique opportunity and a clear responsibility to lead by example and identify creative solutions to achieve the President’s goal.  

DOE will continue to engage and partner with industry, Tribal nations, communities, stakeholders, regulators, and others to implement a process for further development of clean energy projects on DOE land. 

As part of the Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative, DOE has also issued requests for qualifications (RFQs) to lease land at four additional sites, including the Hanford site in Washington; the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico; the Nevada National Security Site in Nevada; and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. DOE plans to announce additional selections this year.    

DOE also plans to open subsequent RFQs for the INL site to solicit additional generation-ready clean energy projects for the land that remains available at the site.  

More information on the Cleanup to Clean Energy initiative can be found here.  

Originally published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/doe-announces-first-projects-under-new-cleanup-clean-energy-initiative

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