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New Pilot Programs Being Tested For A Clean Energy Future

Electric Vehicle Charging Station on the DFC

Innovation for a clean energy future took center stage at Region 8’s Denver Federal Center (DFC) during the launch of the Applied Innovation Learning Lab (AILL) from August 2-4.

GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan announced the DFC would host one of the AILL’s during her visit to the campus last April.

“We’re thrilled to be working with innovative companies and utilities to test new kinds of clean energy technologies that support zero-emission-vehicle charging infrastructure at federal properties,'' said Carnahan. “Providing the space for practical, hands-on testing and demonstrations of charging station technologies is vital to accelerating the transition to an all-electric fleet and building a cleaner, healthier future for the country.”

The AILL is a partnership between GSA, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and three private companies to plan new clean energy technologies through three separate electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) pilots.

The EVSE pilots being tested at the DFC are:

  • Bi-Directional EV Charging (Fermata*) - This program will stabilize the grid by strategically using EVs to either power local building loads or send energy back to the grid. This vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology is expected to turn EVs into energy storage assets, increasing resilience and lowering the cost of EV ownership. 
  • EV Charge Management (WeaveGrid*) - This program integrates embedded vehicle onboard communication services and applications with utility signals to optimize charging based on vehicle use, utility rates, and the carbon content of delivered power.
  • Portable EV charging Station (Beam Global*) - This program combines solar, battery storage, and emergency power. It can be quickly deployed in a standard 9x18 parking space and can be either independent or grid-tied. 

Region 8 also hosts several other Green Proving Ground technologies at the DFC aimed at increasing efficiency and saving resources. There is the DC microgrid project, high-performance window projects, automated control circulator pumps and alternative water treatment for cooling towers. 

Region 8 projects have caught the attention of the White House Council on Environmental Quality(CEQ) when three CEQ team members toured the DFC Campus in late July. That team was briefed on both current and future sustainability projects that will benefit not only GSA but all federal agencies.

(From left to right) White House Climate Team members Cara Carmichael
(From left to right) White House Council on Environmental Quality team members Cara Carmichael, Andrew Mayock, and Tanuj Deora listen to a presentation by Regional Chief Architect Jason Sielcken (far right) on the Building 48 project. Photograph by Richard Stebbins

“The carbon-free electricity being tested at the Denver Federal Center will pay dividends for the Federal Government and the nation in the years to come,” said Andrew Mayock, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “It will also improve the Federal Government’s preparedness and resilience to the effects of our changing climate.”

The AILL launched at the DFC will refine GSA’s understanding of the requirements needed to support an all-electric fleet. It will also help to inform GSA’s plan on reducing carbon emissions from our federal buildings.

“We welcome the partnership between GSA, NREL, Fermata, WeaveGrid and Beam Global in order to advance these new technologies and innovations,” said acting Regional Administrator Penny Grout.

*Reference above to any specific company, product, technology or service does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by GSA. More information on the above technologies and other ongoing evaluations can be found at GPG’s Ongoing Assessments webpage.