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U.S. Department of the Interior
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Federal Energy Management Program Awards Recipients

Renewable Energy Awards to Organizations

U.S. National Park Service
Mojave National Preserve
Barstow, California

The harsh rugged beauty of California 's Mojave National Preserve is the setting for this renewable energy project for the Preserve's Hole-In-The-Wall Wildland Fire Center . Up to 16 firefighters and crew are stationed at the Center's remote (4,500 foot elevation) location to respond to emergencies in the Preserve's vast 1.5 million acres of land. Drawing upon the area's abundant sunlight and a desire to protect the natural quiet of the desert, the National Park Service mobilized to replace the Center's outdated modular facility that relied on diesel power. The newly-constructed fire center and dormitory is a highly functional, energy-efficient, and cost effective structure that harmoniously blends into the desert landscape. The facility features an 11 kilowatt hybrid system with 85 thin flexible photovoltaic panels placed on the Center's roof, eliminating the expense of a solar panel array frame. Insulation under the roof serves as an energy-efficient environment for the thermostatically controlled evaporative coolers located in the attic. Throughout the buildings, energy-efficient windows reduce the facility's energy use. In interior spaces without windows, solar light tubes practically eliminate the need for electrical lighting during the day. A solar-powered radiant floor heating system prevents the water lines in the fire engine bays from freezing. During FY 2002, this impressive facility achieved an energy savings of 624 million Btu and a cost savings of more than $16,000.

Renewable Energy Awards to Small Groups

Greg Austin
Melissa Ennis
Vivian Rice-Smuin
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Ventura, California

A public-private partnership is working quietly and diligently to reintroduce the majestic California condor back to the wild. Playing a principle role in pulling the condor back from extinction are the dedicated researchers of the California condor research station at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, who are monitoring and caring for the condors. Working and living throughout the year at the refuge's remote research station, which was never connected to utility power lines, the researchers' primary source of power was an old, unreliable gasoline-powered generator. During FY 2002, a team from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Region successfully secured Service funds to install a 1.76-kilowatt solar system with 110-watt photovoltaic (PV) modules. The new PV array provides 100 percent of research station's electricity and water pumping needs, saving 78 million Btu annually and more than $1,000. Energy-efficient lights are adding to the energy savings and maximizing the effectiveness of the solar system. For this motivated team, eliminating the dependence on gasoline for electrical power and reducing the transfer of hazardous fuel just made sense for the fragile habitat of the condor.

Charles Caldwell
Mary Ann Crafton-Williams
Ken Edwards
Mark Orton
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
Yuma, Arizona

The team from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwestern Region knew that solar collectors were the optimal choice to power the buildings serving the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, a Federally designated wilderness area receiving more than 350 days of sunshine annually. During FY 2002, the team, undeterred by budgetary and management hurdles, mobilized to install photovoltaic (PV) solar collectors on the Refuge's visitor center and office with funding received from the Service. The system provides approximately 47 percent of the facility's annual energy requirements at a yearly savings of 69 million Btu and $1,625. Added to the project's success is a $20,000 rebate from Arizona Public Utilities Commission. To meet the team's goal to eventually provide 100 percent solar power for the facility, the system was designed with the capability to increase the capacity of the PV collectors for future expansion. Quiet, non-polluting renewable energy is now protecting the delicate ecological balance of this remote green oasis, surrounded by desert mountains and conveying the importance of sustainable energy practices to refuge's visitors.

Gene Cheney
Zeb Darrah
Jeff Harmon
Jim Ziolkowski
U.S. National Park Service
Mount Rainer National Park
Ashford, Washington

Gone are the noise and emissions from diesel-powered generators, as well as wasted diesel fuel, at the White River Entrance of Mount Rainier National Park. The entrance is a gateway to the east side of the Park with visitor functions and residence area for 14 Park employees. Since 1931, the constant drone of diesel generators, and more recently liquid propane fired units, could be heard 24 hours a day. The Park's new 20-kilowatt solar hybrid system brings reliable electrical power to this remote area of Mount Rainier without a connection to an electric utility. The dedicated project team spearheaded nearly all phases of the project, from decreasing the site's electrical load; partnering with DOE's Bonneville Power Administration for design and installation of the solar array, battery bank, and inverter; performing preliminary system installation; working alongside the contracting team during the installation of the array; to performing maintenance and oversight of the system. The effectiveness of the system is a tribute to the Mount Rainier team, whose uncompromising attention to detail is saving the White River installation more than $9,000 in fuel costs and approximately 776 million Btu annually.

Energy Saver Showcase Facility Award

Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia
 Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center

The construction of the Center will eliminate nearly $800,000 in backlog maintenance needs by replacing five inadequate buildings with the new facility. Much of the currently occupied land will revert to wildlife uses, and xeriscaping and on site wastewater recycling will lead to reduced site disturbance. The project utilized day lighting and energy-efficient lighting as well as geothermal heat pumps and rapidly renewable building materials.

Department of Interior—National Park Service

White River Facility Operations Center
White River, Washington

Capitalizing on the need to replace an old garage, designers created a structure to optimize the solar potential for a photovoltaic (PV) array in the rainy Pacific Northwest . But this system is highly effective, eliminating noise and pollution previously emitted by generators, as well providing a 95% energy savings over the previous generation system.