Your Alternative Financing Questions Answered

April 30, 2003

Are there alternative financing vehicles that can help Federal agencies finance projects to take advantage of renewable resources to cut energy costs?

Technology-specific Super Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) give Federal agencies ready access to quality sources of expertise and financing for four technology families: biomass and alternate methane fuels (BAMF), geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), photovoltaics (PVs), and solar thermal concentrating systems.

FEMP's BAMF Super ESPC program is designed to reduce energy use, manage utility costs, and promote the use of renewable energy at Federal facilities. The five ESCOs awarded contracts under the BAMF Super ESPC competitive solicitation each have substantial experience in implementing energy-efficient, cost-effective BAMF projects, and can help you determine which BAMF resources are best suited to meet your facility's specific needs.

FEMP's GHP, PV, and solar thermal concentrating technology-specific Super ESPCs, also help agencies take advantage of renewables. Since 1998, when FEMP initiated its technology-specific GHP Program and awarded prime contracts, U.S. government facilities' investment in GHP technology has skyrocketed. GHP Super ESPCs, under which GHP ESCOs and Federal sites partner to develop, finance, and implement projects, are just one component of the overall GHP program. Several utilities are also partnering with their Federal customers using utility energy service contracts for GHP projects, and some facilities have appropriations for GHP projects.

To learn more about FEMP's technology-specific Super ESPC programs including PV and solar thermal concentrating system Super ESPCs; as well as technology-specific ESCOs, please see FEMP's web page.

What type of applications can use biomass and alternative methane fuels?

BAMF resources can be used in a wide variety of applications, including many that are already located at your facility. Potential BAMF projects and applications include boilers, hot water heaters, reciprocating engines, gas turbines, and combined cooling, heating, and power systems. BAMF can also be used to power advanced generation technologies such as microturbines and fuel cells. BAMF can be used to supplant or supplement your existing fuel sources; facilities, for example, can co-fire BAMF with coal or natural gas. Vehicle refueling stations for your facility's fleet using ethanol and other biofuels can also qualify as a BAMF project.

While the economics of a BAMF project may necessitate that your facility is located within a reasonable proximity to a BAMF resource, the BAMF resources themselves do not have to be located on the Federal facility. They can be piped or trucked into your facility.

What questions do you need answered? FEMP wants to provide the most useful information possible, but we need your help to achieve this! Please submit your questions via e-mail to Tatiana Strajnic of FEMP at