The U.S. Department of Energy has approved more than $250,000 in federal stimulus money for two area agencies to use in energy efficiency renovations.
The city of Tucumcari and Quay County will receive a portion of the $8.1 million stimulus funds approved on Monday by USDOE.
In all, 21 energy projects across the state were chosen to receive the money, according to a press release from Gov. Bill Richardson’s office.
“With the help of stimulus money, counties, cities and towns across the state will be able to move forward with energy saving projects like installing solar power, energy efficient lighting and other equipment to make public buildings more energy efficient,” Richardson said in the release. “These projects will conserve a significant amount of energy and will save taxpayer dollars.”
Tucumcari will receive $52,000, which will be used for energy efficient lighting at City Hall, said Doug Powers, director of the city’s Community Development Department. Powers said he expects the money will be available in 30 to 45 days.
Powers said the money will be used to replace the lighting system both inside and outside with an energy efficient system.
“This is a great project and we are excited to get it done,” Powers said.
Quay County will receive $347,320, which will be used for energy efficient renovations at the Quay County Courthouse, said Quay County Manager Richard Primrose.
Primrose said the county’s main objective is to eliminate the boiler in the basement and install central air and heating at the courthouse.
“We should have enough money with this stimulus money to get that done,” Primrose said.
Any money left over will be used to replace the first-floor windows of the courthouse with energy-efficient windows, Primrose said.
“We are really excited and happy to get this done,” Primrose said.
According to the release, the projects are funded through the new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The program is administered by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s Energy Conservation and Management Division.
The ECMD used a competitive process to select projects based on Recovery Act goals to create and retain jobs; save energy; reduce emissions of greenhouse gases; and increase renewable energy production, according to the release.
“These projects will help retain and create jobs and improve the economy around the state,” said Joanna Prukop, Secretary of the EMNRD in Monday’s release. “With energy efficiency as the main objective of this new program, we anticipate reports of significant energy and cost savings from these projects for local governments around the state.”