Biden Admin's $104 Million Energy Plan Will See Pentagon Covered in Solar Panels

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January 18, 2024

President Joe Biden's administration announced Wednesday that it will install solar panels on the roof of the Pentagon as part of a $104 million investment in clean energy projects on federal facilities.

"Selected projects include: Installation of rooftop solar panels, a heat-recovery heat pump system, and solar thermal panels to reduce reliance on natural gas and fuel oil combustion systems at U.S. Department of Defense’s Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia," reads a release from the Department of Energy.

The Pentagon project is part of the department's plan to upgrade 31 of the federal government's facilities in an effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from its buildings by 2045. The plan received its funding from the 2021 infrastructure law and will also utilize $361 million worth of private investment. In the first year of the program, the Energy Department said, the projects will save $29 million in the cost of energy and water. It will also take out of the air the amount of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to "taking 23,042 gasoline-powered vehicles off the roads."

Other projects in the program include the installation of LED lights and occupancy sensors in low-trafficked areas of the Department of Transportation's headquarters, along with thin-film solar panels on some of its windows.

The Pentagon's solar panels will provide "an uninterrupted power source" in case of a cyber attack on the building or other outage, Brendan Owens, the Department of Defense's assistance secretary for energy, told the Associated Press.

The Department of Energy's announcement comes days after a Senate hearing in which Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) grilled the department's deputy secretary, David Turk, on a $3 billion loan the agency gave to a solar energy company in Texas that allegedly scammed elderly residents in the state. Turk said the loan was a "conditional commitment" and that the department was "continuing to do our due diligence, continuing to do our homework."