November 30, 2022
Staff Accomplishment

Staff at PNNL Receive Awards, Share Expertise at Federal Energy Management Event

Experts honored for work on Army projects and demonstrated multidisciplinary technical leadership

Portraits of 2022 FEMP Energy & Water Management Award recipients from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Five staff members from PNNL received awards from the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program at the organization’s 2022 Energy Exchange event in late October for contributions to projects for the U.S. Army.

(Composite image by Cortland Johnson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Staff from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) received 2022 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) for their work on project teams in support of the U.S. Army Reserve.

Amy Solana and Emily Wendel were honored as part of the 9th Mission Support Command project team in the Project Award category for launching the U.S. Army Reserve’s first fully functioning energy microgrid at the Pele U.S. Army Reserve Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both Solana and Wendel support electricity infrastructure and buildings work at PNNL and have partnered with the Army on multiple projects aimed at maximizing energy and water efficiency and resilience in buildings and across installations. Solana is a senior research engineer specializing in planning and analysis for integration of renewable energy to achieve resilience and climate goals, and Wendel leads a multidisciplinary group of experts focused on driving federal market transformation for advanced technologies through policy and deployment. The microgrid at the Pele U.S. Army Reserve Center combined 325 kilowatts of new roof-mounted solar photovoltaic and a 345-kilowatt-hour battery storage system with a 300-kilowatt generator, which resulted in 69 percent lower utility costs at the facility over the first seven full months of its operation.

Varun Sood, Eric McKay, and Michael Hoffman were honored in the Program Award category for contributing to successful multi-year resilience planning initiatives at Fort Hunter Liggett, an Army Total Force Training Center located on California’s central coast. Sood, McKay, and Hoffman are also part of the electricity infrastructure and buildings team at PNNL, primarily supporting Army and Army Reserve programs focused on energy resilience across installations. Sood is a mechanical engineer specializing in building systems performance evaluation, McKay is a technician supporting the sustainability of the Enterprise Building Controls System covering all 750+ Army Reserve locations, and Hoffman is an electrical engineer working on Army and Army Reserve facilities microgrids incorporating photovoltaic, energy storage, and generator sets. Among its multiple significant outcomes, the resilience initiatives at Fort Hunter Liggett resulted in 23.2 percent of the installation’s energy being produced from renewable sources in fiscal year 2021, a savings of nearly $900,000.

The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards were presented at Energy Exchange 2022 in late October. The Energy Exchange is FEMP’s premier annual training event and one of the largest such events for the federal energy and water management community with approximately 2,000 attendees. This year’s event theme was Advancing Federal Infrastructure through Innovation, ably demonstrated by the staff at PNNL recognized with awards.

This year marked the first time the event was held in person since 2019 and the first time the Energy and Water Management Awards have ever been co-located with the Energy Exchange. The Energy Exchange featured over 75 technical training sessions specifically aimed at addressing key federal priorities and challenges, including planning for net-zero buildings and fleets, climate-resilient infrastructure and facilities, technologies and practices for sustainable and smart federal facilities, and performance contracting and sustainable procurement. During the program, 15 technical experts from PNNL spoke on topics including resilience, water, climate change, decarbonization, healthy buildings, metering, and advanced controls.

PNNL also oversaw the entire Energy Exchange event and led development of its technical program. Economics, Policy, and Institutional Support group staff Julia Rotondo and Erica Kilgannon served as executive director and deputy, respectively, for this year’s event.  

High-level leadership also provided remarks at the event via the opening and closing plenaries. Speakers included Administrator of the General Services Administration Robin Carnahan; Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Mayock; Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, & Environment Meredith Berger; DOE Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Infrastructure Kathleen Hogan; Mayor of Cincinnati Aftab Pureval; DOE Office of Management Director Ingrid Kolb; FEMP Director Mary Sotos; Duke Energy Director of Public Policy Sarah Adair; and a video address from DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm.