• Army Not Favoring Utilities for New Development, Energy Officials Say0

    Several of the Army’s most recent awards for the development of new renewable energy projects have gone to local utilities, but the service continues to maintain a balance between projects awarded to utilities and private developers, its top energy officials said Wednesday at a Pentagon media roundtable. In May, the Army announced plans to develop 30-megawatt, alternating current, solar photovoltaic arrays at three installations in the state — Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning — with the Georgia Power Co. Less than one month earlier, officials held a groundbreaking for an 18-megawatt solar project at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. “So it sounds like we’re doing all our projects with utilities,” said Amanda Simpson, executive director of the Army’s newly established Office of Energy Initiatives …

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  • Federal Partnership to Train Veterans for Solar Industry Jobs0

    The Energy Department will launch a veterans’ job training pilot project at up to three military installations this fall to train veterans for jobs in the solar industry, the White House announced Thursday. The pilot project will rely on DOE’s network of more than 400 community college-based solar training institutions to train veterans for jobs in solar system design, installation, sales and inspection, according to a White House fact sheet. The White House announced the project as part of more than a dozen executive actions to advance the deployment of solar energy and promote energy efficiency. In April, the administration launched the Capital Solar Challenge, directing federal agencies, military installations and federally subsidized complexes to identify opportunities to deploy solar energy at federal locations across the National Capital region. The General Services Administration is hosting an industry day on Oct. 23 to discuss potential opportunities and explain its procurement approach to developers and investors.

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  • Criteria Needed to Help GSA Better Target Property Exchanges, GAO Finds0

    Developing criteria to determine when it should pursue a real property exchange would help the General Services Administration better target promising opportunities for taking advantage of the authority, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office concludes. Real property exchanges, which the report calls “swap-construct” exchanges, allow the government to trade property to developers for construction services or existing facilities. The authority can help GSA deal with the challenge of disposing of unneeded property and modernizing or replacing federal buildings, but multiple factors can affect the success of such an approach …

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  • New Jersey Developer Wins Auction for Property at Kelly Support Facility0

    A New Jersey real estate developer submitted the winning bid for 18 acres at the former Charles E. Kelly Support Facility located outside of Pittsburgh. Paul Cusa, who owns Atlantic Office Suites in Wall, N. J., bid $580,000 during a live auction run by the General Services Administration. Four bidders participated in the auction for the property closed under the 2005 BRAC round, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The two parcels auctioned include the commissary building and a former missile bunker. They are next to a 72-acre park Collier Township received from the federal government via a public benefit conveyance. A community center under construction there is almost complete. No plans for the two parcels zoned for mixed use have been announced. The township would like to see a mix of uses, including homes, offices and businesses, according to the story.

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  • Signs of Progress in Federal Effort to Pare List of Excess Properties0

    At a House hearing on Tuesday, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said the federal government’s ownership of 7,000 unneeded properties worth $350 billion is “unacceptable.” “The Congress and public will be astounded to learn of the unbelievable inventory of properties uncovered in documents provided to the committee after waiting nearly three years,” said Mica, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Government Operations Subcommittee. Nearly 1,500 of the unneeded properties are valued in the multi-million-dollar range …

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  • Federal Scoring Rules Need to Be Revisited, Robyn Says0

    Dorothy Robyn, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, makes the case for reforming the way the federal government treats real estate leases and public-private ventures for budgetary purposes, in a commentary in the Washington Post. “The budgetary rules that govern investment in these assets are a blunt instrument that does serious collateral damage. Reforming these rules would allow the government to shrink its real estate footprint, modernize its legacy infrastructure for the 21st century and save billions of dollars …

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