Forty-three projects valued at nearly $8.4 million will make National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries more energy efficient and less reliant on non-renewable energy sources to support existing facilities. All projects deemed worthy of funding met three key criteria:
- They address the highest priority mission needs for the Service.
- They create the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time.
- They create lasting value for the American public.
Promoting energy independence is one of the Department of the Interior’s primary goals for fiscal year 2011. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is already using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to work towards this goal. Many of the Service’s energy efficiency Recovery Act projects will install renewable energy sources and improve current building standards at Service facilities. New and improved headquarters and visitor centers at National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries across the country will receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification as a direct result of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Act project.
The following energy efficiency retrofit projects are among those that the Service will complete with Recovery Act funding:
New Solar Arrays at Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuges
Multiple buildings at Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuges will enjoy increased energy efficiency and long-term cost savings thanks to new solar arrays. The Service awarded Sacred Power Inc. of Albuquerque, New Mexico Recovery Act funds to build photovoltaic (PV) electric solar power generators on the refuges. The generators will produce renewable electricity in several refuge buildings and greatly reduce the refuges’ dependency on the national grid. Visit the Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuges project page for more information on their use of solar power.
Installation of a Microturbine Generation System at Jordan River National Fish Hatchery
The Jordan River National Fish Hatchery in northern Michigan will receive Recovery Act funding to install a microturbine on the hatchery’s water supply line. The microturbine system will supply all of the hatchery’s energy needs and will generate surplus electricity. The hatchery will also receive Recovery Act funding to upgrade its water heating and cooling system to a more efficient passive geothermal system. Visit the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery project page for more information on its energy-efficiency projects!
Addition of Photovoltaic Technology to Neosho National Fish Hatchery
Recovery Act funding will enable Neosho National Fish Hatchery in Missouri to convert its visitor center into an energy-efficient, LEED-certified facility and install photovoltaic solar panels. The new visitor center will enhance community education about aquatic resources, and at the same time enhance the energy-efficiency of daily hatchery operations. Work has already begun at Neosho National Fish Hatchery! Visit the Neosho National Fish Hatchery project page for more information on the energy-efficiency retrofit projects being completed there.
Spotlight on LEED Certification
The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System are standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council to support and certify successful green building design, construction and operations.
Architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders and government officials all use the LEED standards to benchmark the level of energy efficiency attained in their projects. There are several levels of LEED certification, each intended to reflect a specific level of success in green design, construction and operations.
Many of the projects that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is completing with Recovery Act funding will produce LEED-certified structures.
Installation of Vertical Wind Turbines at Izembek, Selawik, and Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuges
Specially designed vertical wind turbines will be installed at Izembek, Selawik, and Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska to generate electricity for refuge facilities. Vertical wind turbines are designed so that they do not need to be pointed directly at the wind in order to effectively generate power, and are ideal for locations with variable wind conditions. They also have a larger surface area and can operate in slower winds than other types of turbines. Vertical wind turbines can be placed close to the ground, making maintenance easier and less costly. For additional information on wind energy, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s wind energy website.