|Draft Environmental Assessment|
NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY
Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agriculture Research Services
Proposed Solar Array Project
Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
A draft Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared addressing the proposed installation of a solar photovoltaic system at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Services (ARS) is proposing to provide a portion of BARC to an Independent Power Producer (IPP) for a 20-year term to build and operate a solar photovoltaic system (SPVS) or solar panel array. The IPP would solely pay for construction, operation, maintenance, and ultimate dismantling of the SPVS when the contract term expires. The IPP and ARS would enter an Energy Savings Performance Contract Energy Sales Agreement (ESPC ESA). The Purpose of the Proposed Action is to provide BARC with an on-site cost-efficient renewable energy source that would offset future energy requirements while meeting federal government renewable energy directives in Energy Policy Act (EPAct) 2005 and Energy Security and Independence Act (EISA), as well as associated Executive Order (13834). It would also allow USDA and ARS to support the development of local renewable energy infrastructure, reduce energy costs, and continue to support broader green power initiatives through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) applied towards annual Agency renewable energy goals.