Energy security is of primary importance to the federal government. Energy security requires the use of a balanced portfolio of conventional energy generation, energy efficiency, and the development of additional cost-effective renewable energy generation infrastructure. Future energy needs will not be met by any single resource or technology, only by a balanced portfolio of energy resources. In order to be sustainable, INL needs to participate with the advancement of renewable energy in ways that make sense for INL’s location and energy infrastructure.
Renewable energy includes the classic technologies of wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal. Renewable energy can also be thermal energy from passive solar walls to avoid energy use, or can be in the form of varied energy sources such as ocean tidal, geothermal heat pumps, and the increased efficiency of existing hydroelectric systems.
INL currently supports renewable energy development by making an annual purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). The charges for this purchase are spread among all electric users at the Site through INL Power Management. Although this helps the advancement of renewable energy on a more national level, INL is continuing to evaluate potential renewable energy generation opportunities.
INL has an existing solar wall at the IRC Complex on the Records Storage Facility. There are two additional solar walls planned for the Materials and Fuels Complex as part of the on-going Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) being implemented at MFC. In addition, INL continues to evaluate a 20 MW wind farm to the south of MFC and the potential for a solar array significant enough to be connected to the grid.
Additional information on renewable energy:
National Renewable Energy Laboratories
State, Local, Utility, and Federal Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency by state