DOI, DOE & NPS to Install Solar Systems

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will help the National Park Service (NPS) showcase sustainable energy practices and fulfill its mission of environmental stewardship.

With equal amounts of initial “seed money” from DOI and DOE totaling US $1 million for 2009, the Energy SmartPARKS program hopes to eventually draw private sector support to spark a green energy future in the United States.

“We have the power to not only improve conditions in the parks, but also demonstrate for the public the impacts and benefits of green energy innovations,” said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.

On the ground, parks will use funding from Energy SmartPARKS to deploy cutting-edge technology as well as traditional solutions, including projects that retrofit lighting systems, purchase electric utility vehicles, install solar power systems, study the feasibility of wind power and conduct energy audits. Lessons learned from these projects can be used in other national parks and in the homes of every American. A list of some of the 2009 projects is available from the NPS.

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