Shown here is a before (left) and after (right) comparison of a LED lighting retrofit that took place to reduce energy usage at BPA’s high-bay facility in Malin, Oregon. This energy efficiency project was one of many led by the agency’s Utility Management Program that earned BPA a 2020 Federal Green Challenge award for Innovation.
For the seventh year in a row, the Environmental Protection Agency deems the Bonneville Power Administration’s sustainability efforts to be award winning. For its work in fiscal year 2019, BPA earned three regional 2020 Federal Green Challenge awards under the categories of Waste, Water and Innovation.
The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort that calls on federal agencies throughout the country to lead by example to reduce their environmental impacts and further the President’s Executive Order Regarding Efficient Federal Operations. The awards fall under two categories: Data Driven Awards (Waste, Electronics, Purchasing, Energy, Water and Transportation) and Narrative Awards (Innovation, Education and Outreach, and Leadership).
BPA’s 2020 Federal Green Challenge Regional Waste Award is the result of smart materials management. In FY 2019, BPA diverted 13.8% more of the agency’s waste away from the landfill than in the year prior, a result owed to the efforts led by the Investment Recovery Center. The IRC’s materials management practices include upcycling and properly repurposing equipment, conducting substation cleanups and recycling materials as scrap. BPA also won the award for Waste in 2019, 2016 and 2015.
EPA’s bestowment of two more awards to BPA for Water and Innovation represent the success of strategic water and energy efficiency projects overseen by BPA’s Utilities Management Program. Since 2014, the Utilities Management Program has provided the agency with a comprehensive understanding of how much energy and water its facilities consume. The program has reduced the agency’s water consumption by 43% since its founding, largely through operational efficiencies, equipment upgrades and rigorous maintenance. In FY 2019 alone, the program oversaw 30 energy and water efficiency projects – including LED lighting retrofits; heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades; building and system commissioning; and leak and detection repair – across agency facilities. Last year, water consumption fell by 13%, or 4 million gallons, and energy consumption fell by 2%, or 1.5 million kBtu. In addition, all utility incentive dollars earned from projects, amounting to $248,200 in FY 2019, return to a fund supporting future utility efficiency initiatives.
“These awards recognize the continued dedication to planning and good management to achieve top sustainability results,” said Robin Furrer, chief administrative officer. “BPA continues to demonstrate the high priority to sustainable operations, as it’s part of our core values to be responsible caretakers of the environment and of ratepayer dollars. I’m thrilled to congratulate the teams in the Utilities Management Program and Investment Recovery Center on these outstanding results.”
For more information on BPA’s recent sustainability awards, visit the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge page.