The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been awarded more than $3.5 million in competitive federal stimulus grants for solar installations as part of the Distributed Renewable Energy Technology Program. The program is offered by the State of Texas Comptroller as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will cover up to 20% of the total cost of the projects.
All 17 projects proposed were funded and the grants will go toward installing solar power at the main headquarters in Austin and in various state parks and fisheries across Texas.
TPWD is installing solar photovoltaic (PV) generation systems that will provide more than 100kW across seven state park sites in Region 1. These sites include Lake Tawakoni State Park, Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Cooper Lake State Park, East Texas Fish Hatchery, Cedar Hill State Park, Lake Arrowhead State Park and San Angelo State Park.
In Region 2, TPWD is installing solar PV generation systems that will provide at least 90kW in Government Canyon State Park, Bryan Fish Hatchery, McKinney Falls State Park, Sheldon Observatory Tower, State Park Region 4 Headquarters and Galveston Isle.
Three sites in Region 3 will install an estimated 40kW of solar PV generation systems: State Park Region 1 Headquarters, Choke Canyon State Park and Mustang Isle. The Austin headquarters will install a 50 kW solar PV system at the main agency building.
TPWD supports conservation actions that mitigate anticipated climate change impacts to plants, fish and wildlife and encourages the development of renewable energy projects which do not adversely affect those communities. These projects will help TPWD reach one of its goals set forth in the most recent Land & Water Plan to install solar panels at 15 agency sites by December 2011. (see page 35 of the L&W Plan.)