This report of the Committee on the Evaluation of Future Strategic and Energy Efficient Alternatives for the U.S. Capitol Power Plant (see Appendix A) is based on the AOC’s and its consultants’ presentations at two committee meetings, including a workshop (see Appendixes B and C); the report entitled Strategic Long Term Energy Plan 70% Report (hereinafter referred to as the 70% Report), (AOC, 2009); and a brief oral presentation of the utility service distribution options.

The 70% Report is an interim report that is still subject to additions and revisions. It includes the background information on the existing CPP and its operations and presents 10 primary options for the CPP, its tunnel distribution system, and “non-CPP” distributed options. The options analyzed for the CPP include the existing configuration with three options for fuel mix; combined heat and power (co-generation); construction of a new plant; and the use of a range of technologies, including fuel cells, coal gasification, heat recovery chillers, waste-to-energy, and high-temperature water .

In response to committee comments at its first meeting on December 4 and 5, 2008, the AOC contracted for an analysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hazardous air pollutant emissions for each of the options. The results of the analysis were presented at the committee’s March 12, 2009, workshop. No additional studies were available to the committee.


Within the parameters of the 70% Report, the committee did not find any fatal flaws in the analyses presented.

The committee was impressed with the competence and dedication of the AOC staff, which provided the committee as much operating data as it could within the security limitations in force. It was clear that the AOC staff was sincerely seeking feedback from the committee and is willing to improve the outcome of the planning effort.

The committee was also impressed with the consulting teams for the number of options (17) for the CPP plant and the distribution systems considered in the 70% Report. The consulting teams demonstrated considerable knowledge of and experience in the types of systems that exist to serve the U.S. Capitol Complex and the technologies that are current and viable.

Regarding the 70% Report, the committee has three overarching findings:

  • First, the 70% Report makes no mention of the unique characteristics of the U.S. Capitol Complex and of the opportunities presented to serve as an example to the nation.

  • Second, based on the material in the 70% Report and two face-to-face meetings, the committee provided recommendations to bring the 70% Report to 100 percent completion, including suggestions for additional analyses and for the development of indices to evaluate the options.

  • Third, all options presented in the 70% Report retain essentially all of the institutional, environmental, political, and economic constraints under which the CPP and the distribution system currently operate. This approach necessarily limits the choice of options and may preclude the consideration of more creative options that could result in improved solutions.

Among the shortcomings in the 70% Report are the following:

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