Memorandum of understanding between GSA and the Southern Company sparked by President Biden's executive order reestablishing federal government as a sustainability leader
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (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 [lnks.gd].
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.
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