The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has broken ground on construction of the federal government’s largest wind farm. The ceremony was led by John Herrera, Federal Project Manager, NNSA Production Office (NPO), who was joined by Steve Erhart, Manager of the NNSA Production Office and Anne Harrington, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.
The NNSA awarded the contract to Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: SI) to construct the Pantex wind farm which is expected to generate energy savings on average of $2.8 million annually over the 18-year contract term. The installation will consist of five 2.3 megawatt turbines located on 1,500 acres of government-owned property east of the Pantex plant in Amarillo.
The Pantex Renewable Energy Project highlights the Department of Energy’s commitment to federally mandated energy conservation measures by implementing an onsite renewable energy program.
“This event commemorates the most unique and significant wind energy project ever undertaken by the federal government. We are very proud of our national security mission here at Pantex, and this federal partnership with Siemens will provide yet another dimension of dedicated and responsible service to our nation,” said Steve Erhart, Manager, NNSA Production Office.
The wind farm is expected to generate roughly 47 million kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, which is more than 60 percent of the electricity required annually for the Pantex facility. This is enough electricity to power nearly 3,500 homes and will reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 metric tons per year, which equates to removing over 7,200 cars from the road each year or planting more than 850,000 trees.
“Today marks a milestone in the development of wind power to help the federal government meet its renewable energy and efficiency goals,” said Judy Marks, president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. “As a global leader in the wind industry, Siemens will bring reliable, secure and renewable energy to the critical mission at the NNSA Pantex plant.”
Using an Energy Savings Performance Contract, the cost of the project will be funded by the energy savings guaranteed by Siemens and will enable Pantex to advance President Obama’s vision for energy stewardship at federal facilities and meet nearly all of its renewable energy goals.
Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.