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Cutting energy costs at Federal buildings is an on-going effort, and a mix of trusted and new energy sources. A natural gas combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the White Oak complex in Silver Springs, Maryland will get some power from a 3,000 square foot solar photovoltaic (PV) array.
Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison plans to build one to power the Hawaiian island he bought last year. EBay Inc. has one to run a data center. The University of California at San Diego and the federal government have invested tens of millions of dollars in the technology.
Most talk of "energy efficiency" and “sustainability” is insidious or naïve, or even misdirected. We all should switch off the lights when we leave a room, use efficient, gas-fired tankless water heaters (even when they are uneconomical), and work in LEED certified buildings. Intelligent thermostats — Nest, for instance — may regulate our air-conditioning to assure comfort while generating savings, and shaving “peak” load on the electricity grid. Using LED lamps and star rated appliances is admirable too. These solutions and behaviors, while praiseworthy, are beside the point; we should rather favor “supply action” before demand response.