As a leader in the field of natural resource conservation, the NPS has a duty to lead in the use of renewable and efficient energy technologies. The NPS will focus close to $91 million on projects that will not only meet critical infrastructure and equipment needs, but will expand the use of renewable and energy efficient technologies across the Service. This includes $66.4 million in construction and $24.7 million in Deferred Maintenance. New construction in the NPS will be LEED certified. LEED certification is the US Green Building Council’s stamp of approval for the responsible design, construction, and operation of green buildings. In some projects, the NPS will replace older, less energy efficient equipment with more energy efficient and technologically advanced equipment. In other projects, the NPS will significantly expand the use of renewable energy by installing photovoltaic systems to power visitor centers, headquarters, buildings, visitor comfort stations, and other facilities. In addition, many cyclic maintenance and repair and rehabilitation projects include energy components such as installation of energy efficient HVAC equipment, more effective insulation, and replacement of electrical lighting systems with solar lighting.
Examples of NPS Recovery Act energy projects include:
• At Zion National Park, NPS will capitalize on the area’s 300 days of full sun by installing a $275,000 photovoltaic system. Park officials estimate that this new energy system will decrease energy costs by 25 percent.
• At Northern Cascades National Park, NPS will use $170,000 of ARRA funds to replace aging building components with Energy Star certified doors, windows, lighting, and utility systems. These replacements will help reduce the park’s energy consumption, including its reliance on backup diesel generators.