Government stimulus money is making its way into different solar projects in the state of Texas. Over $290 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has been allocated to the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), whose purpose is to reduce energy costs and increase efficiency in the state. Out of that, $52 million is assigned for the Distributed Renewable Energy Technology Program. As of today, nearly half of this amount has been allocated to 32 state and local government bodies within Texas.
Till now, six projects in and around Austin, Texas have been given stimulus money of $4.24 million for installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Austin Community College (ACC) will receive around $1.6 million for installing solar arrays on its Eastview and Northridge campuses. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Austin headquarters will receive around $820,000. The Department of Texas Military Forces of the Adjutant General at Camp Mabry will receive $800,000. Finally, the Hutto ISD, Horseshoe Bay city and Sunset Valley city will each receive $618,000, $311,000 and $95,000, respectively.
Solar photovoltaic systems produce electricity from sunlight. Since the costs of installation of such systems is high, the funding will enable these projects to commence operations and start saving on their energy costs. ACC expects to witness around $29,000 in annual savings.
The President of Evolution Solar Corporation (EVSO) Robert Hines opined that EVSO is glad to see the government money being spent on solar projects in Texas and this will lead to increased new business opportunities. Currently, by partnering with Texas Southern University, Evolution Solar is constructing a solar demonstration facility at the Houston Campus of the university. This project is likely to assist Evolution Solar gain new projects in the energy sector, which contains companies such as Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, Valero Energy Corporation and BP.