Model GSA/utility partnership works to make clean energy accessible 24/7

Posted by Johann Nacario — December 15, 2022 — At the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the federal government’s first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a utility to work toward achieving 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE), at least 50 percent of which would be provided on a 24/7 basis, in line with the requirements of Executive Order 14057.

The MOU is between the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, and Entergy Arkansas, which provides electricity to approximately 728,000 customers in 63 counties across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

The partnership will help federal agencies in Arkansas meet the goals of President Biden’s Executive Order, which sets the goal of sourcing 100% of the federal government’s electricity from carbon pollution-free sources by 2030, including 50 percent 24/7 CFE, meaning delivered to the same grid region as the consuming facilities.

GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan stated:

This MOU marks a historic step forward and demonstrates how the federal government is partnering in initiatives to spur demand for carbon pollution-free electricity — when and where people need it. GSA looks forward to working with our agency partners and utilities across the country to replicate this MOU model — helping to promote local, clean energy sources and catalyze utility-scale energy storage, and create a more resilient grid.

Under the MOU, Entergy Arkansas, one of the top 10 suppliers of electricity to the federal government, will allow its public and private sector customers to utilize regionally sourced nuclear and renewables, including solar, hydro or wind. The new program is one of the world’s first electricity utility tariffs that supports 24/7 hourly matching of CFE with consumers’ electricity needs, blending both existing and new CFE power generation. Once fully developed and approved, it is anticipated that Entergy Arkansas customers in both the public and private sector will have a cost-competitive and reliable option for CFE that matches their electricity consumption for all hours of the day.

Andrew Mayock, the Federal Government’s Chief Sustainability Officer at the White House, remarked:

Today’s MOU shows how innovative, customer-centric clean energy can help federal agencies in Arkansas cost-effectively meet the clean energy goals of President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan. By building upon existing nuclear power generation with new carbon-free renewable resources, this approach helps reach net-zero emissions while keeping costs low for consumers. We hope this partnership between GSA and Entergy Arkansas will serve as a model for other federal agencies and suppliers to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

As a primary agency that procures electricity for the federal government, GSA is working with partner agencies to identify energy procurement options and develop strategies for reaching 100% CFE.

The text of the Memorandum of Understanding (PDF file) is available from GSA.