Mayor's Office

Press Release




April 27, 2010 -- The City of Houston has received a $1.3 million State Energy Conservations Office (SECO) Distributed Renewable Energy Grant. The city plans to use the grant funding to purchase approximately 25 commercially available distributed renewable energy (solar) mobile generator systems to provide backup energy during an emergency. The generators will demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of using solar power as an energy source.


“The City of Houston is committed to achieving a sustainable solar-powered infrastructure,” said Mayor Parker. “Hurricane Ike’s two-week power outage sent a clear message about the need for alternative technologies to help us get through a similar situation in the future. These generators are scheduled to be operational by the 2011 hurricane season.”


With power generated by these systems, wheelchair batteries can be recharged, oxygen concentration pumps can be charged and medicine can be refrigerated.  The generators could also be used to power emergency communications systems, gas pumps for emergency vehicles, small scale water treatment, and other critical services traditionally powered by a diesel or gasoline generator.


The mobile solar generators will be placed in emergency staging areas to power critical city facilities and provide assistance to the public in the event of an emergency. A study will be conducted to determine the best locations for the units.


When not used to provide emergency energy services, the generators will be used as supplemental energy sources at city fire stations.


The Solar Houston Initiative, part of the City’s Solar America Cities Project, leverages the expertise of diverse and experienced project partners, such as the Solar Houston Taskforce, to achieve a sustainable solar infrastructure in the city. The Solar Houston Initiative is focused on identifying and overcoming barriers associated with establishing a solar infrastructure that is incorporated into the overall energy system of the City of Houston.