WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: WGL) today announced the official opening of the new Springfield Center facility for its subsidiary Washington Gas. Located on 20 acres just inside the Beltway in Northern Virginia, the building features a Bloom Energy Server, most notably highlighted on 60 Minutes, to convert natural gas to electricity. The facility is targeting LEED Gold certification, the second highest certification level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The design of and technology used in the new complex help support Washington Gas’ goal to achieve a 70 percent reduction in its CO 2e emissions from its fleet and facilities by 2020. More than 21 percent of the building’s construction materials were harvested and manufactured in this region and more than 31 percent of the building materials are from recycled content.
“Our new Springfield Center reflects the current state-of-the-art in construction and energy efficiency, including an abundance of recycled materials and reclaimed local wood,” said Terry D. McCallister, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WGL Holdings and Washington Gas. “The installation of Bloom’s clean energy technology was a natural decision for Washington Gas and is consistent with our commitment to environmental stewardship. We will continue to seek innovative, eco-sensible technologies and process improvements that can deliver both environmental and economic benefits in every aspect of our operations.”
The Bloom Energy Server is a solid oxide fuel cell that converts clean natural gas directly to electricity. Output from the unit will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40 percent compared to conventional grid electricity, will provide up to 35 percent of the electricity demand for complex, and will run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The use of this technology at its Washington Gas facility is in line with the WGL Holdings Inc. vision to be the preferred source of clean and efficient energy solutions that include natural gas, electricity and renewable sources such as solar and wind.