Solar Demonstrations on Federal Residences:

Better Planning and Management Control Needed

EMD-78-40: Published: Apr 14, 1978. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1978.

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Pursuant to the Solar Heating and Cooling Demonstration Act of 1974, the former Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) provided the Department of Defense (DOD) with $3.1 million in funding authority for two solar demonstration projects on federal residences.

The first solar demonstration project, after expenditures of $719,000 and an 18 month schedule slippage, was never completed because the solar systems to be used in the project were overdesigned. This prevented the project from reaching its cost objectives. Consequently, DOD sought and obtained ERDA approval to terminate the project and redirect the remaining funds to other DOD solar efforts which were not consistent with the role given DOD under the act. This situation could have been avoided had ERDA and DOD developed a detailed program plan before initiating the project and worked together to implement an effective monitoring system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should require that detailed plans be developed by DOD and formally approved by the Department of Energy (DOE) for all solar demonstration projects. Such plans should be developed immediately for the DOD second demonstration project and should include project objectives, milestones, decision points, target dates, and design and cost information associated with the solar heating systems to be demonstrated. The Secretary of Energy should work with DOD to establish and implement a formal project monitoring system that would enable DOE management to track progress through periodic and frequent progress reports. To the extent practical, the Secretary should limit the redirection of funds for the first DOD project to those activities that relate to the demonstration of solar heating devices on federal residential dwellings.

    Agency Affected:


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