Pacific Northwest National Lab Sets 2030 Goals - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  May 27, 2022

Pacific Northwest National Lab Sets 2030 Goals

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of four national laboratories in the Department of Energy’s Net Zero Labs (NZL) Pilot Initiative, is aiming to be among the first federal facilities to achieve net zero GHG emissions.

The company will demonstrate how new technologies, innovative approaches and partnering with industry and communities can lead to net zero emissions and decarbonization of operations.

PNNL’s role in NZL aligns with the laboratory’s own Net-Zero Emissions and Resilient Operations (NZERO) initiative, which seeks to fully transition to a net zero campus by 2030. NZERO is focused on replacing current energy sources with low-impact sources, such as renewables, reducing energy use in buildings and fleet vehicles,and enhancing resilience to protect against power disruptions.

The effort includes striving for 24/7 carbon-free energy operations, meaning that all of PNNL’s energy would come from clean sources. To achieve its goals, PNNL will move away from using energy provided by carbon-intensive sources, such as natural gas, and transition to electrifying its buildings, vehicles and equipment in partnership with local electric utilities, which also are committed to clean energy sources.

The initiative also leverages PNNL’s research capabilities to demonstrate and evaluate technologies and approaches under realistic operating conditions, with PNNL’s Richland and Sequim campuses serving as living laboratories. 

The laboratory also will reduce energy use and emissions through efficiency upgrades and operational changes. For example, PNNL will use waste heat captured from supercomputers to heat other buildings on its Richland campus and is taking steps to address potential emissions of gasses when research equipment is serviced.

Other laboratories participating in the NZL Pilot Initiative are Idaho National Laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Together, with PNNL, their collaborative efforts are expected to lead to new knowledge and net zero solutions that can be replicated across the national laboratory system and the nation.

“PNNL is ideally suited to help the nation meet its ambitious climate and energy goals,” said PNNL Director Steven Ashby, in a statement. “The DOE and PNNL initiatives integrate our research strengths in clean energy systems with our focus on efficient and sustainable campus operations and key partnerships with local communities, utilities and other stakeholders.”

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