The Department of Veteran Affairs Continues to Set Ambitious Green Goals

Back in 2005, the Energy Policy Act required federal agencies to purchase 7.5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2013. The Department of Veteran Affairs responded by setting its own aggressive target of 15 percent, double the required amount.

The increased dependence on renewable energy sources has aided VA in another recently set goal: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020. This kind of environmental performance leadership is quite likely what President Obama was hoping for when he signed Executive Order 13514: Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance over a year ago.

VA continued to show its commitment to renewable energy last Monday, when leaders announced that they had awarded close to $78 million in contracts to build solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at VA facilities all across the country. By fall next year, VA will have introduced these energy management systems at hospitals, clinics and national cemeteries in a dozen locations. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki stated that, “With these investments in clean energy and other renewable energy projects for our medical centers, clinics, and cemeteries, we are marching forward with the President’s initiative to ‘green’ the Federal government.”

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