Houston awarded $1.3M for solar generators

April 27, 2010 1:27:33 PM PDT
The City of Houston has received a $1.3 million State Energy Conservations Office (SECO) Distributed Renewable Energy Grant. The city plans to use the grant funding to purchase approximately 25 solar powered mobile generator systems to provide backup energy during an emergency. "The City of Houston is committed to achieving a sustainable solar-powered infrastructure," said Mayor Annise Parker. "Hurricane Ike's two-week power outage sent a clear message about the need for alternative technologies to help us get through a similar situation in the future. These generators are scheduled to be operational by the 2011 hurricane season."

According to a City of Houston statement, power generated by these systems can be used to charge wheelchair batteries and oxygen concentration pumps and medicine can be refrigerated. The generators could also be used to power emergency communications systems, gas pumps for emergency vehicles, small scale water treatment, and other critical services traditionally powered by a diesel or gasoline generator.

The mobile solar generators will be placed in emergency staging areas to power critical city facilities and provide assistance to the public in the event of an emergency. A study will be conducted to determine the best locations for the units.

When not used to provide emergency energy services, the generators will be used as supplemental energy sources at city fire stations.


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