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U.S. Department of Energy to Provide up to $2.4 Million to Advance Solar Energy in 12 U.S. Cities

March 28, 2008 - 11:49am

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DOE Selects 12 Solar America Cities to advance President Bush's Solar America Initiative

DENVER, CO - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced that DOE will make available up to $2.4 million to 12 cities across the country selected as Solar America Cities, chosen for their commitment and comprehensive approach to the deployment of solar technologies and the development of sustainable solar infrastructures.  These projects further President Bush's Solar America Initiative (SAI), which aims to make electricity from solar photovoltaics cost-competitive with conventional electricity by 2015.  Combined with industry cost share and funding from each city, total investment in all 12 cities is estimated at $12.1 million.  Secretary Bodman made the announcement while delivering keynote remarks at the New Frontiers in Energy Summit 2008 in Denver.

"These Solar America Cities aim to jumpstart integration of solar power and encourage other cities across the nation to follow suit," Secretary Bodman said.  "With the President's leadership, the Energy Department is working aggressively to make clean, abundant and affordable solar energy the norm, and no longer an 'alternative' source of energy.  The innovative programs already underway in each city will help us raise the bar of what's possible, and will help cities and towns across America harness the tremendous potential of the sun."

Cities designated as Solar America Cities, which will each receive $200,000 from DOE to integrate a variety of solar energy technologies throughout the city, include: Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Knoxville, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; San Antonio, TX; San Jose, CA; Santa Rosa, CA; and Seattle, WA.

In addition to investing a total of up to $2.4 million (Fiscal Year 2008), DOE will also provide hands-on assistance from technical experts to help cities integrate solar technologies into energy planning, zoning and facilities; streamline local regulations and practices that affect solar adoption by residents and businesses; present solar financing options; and promote solar technology among residents and local businesses through outreach, curriculum development, and incentive programs.  Technical assistance is estimated at $3 million (Fiscal Years 2008-2009), subject to appropriations from Congress.

Cities selected are geographically diverse and have varying degrees of solar resources and experience with solar technologies.  Each city will adopt a variety of approaches to building up their solar infrastructure and deploying cutting-edge technologies, which include solar water heating, photovoltaics - a technology which turns sunlight into electricity, and concentrating solar power - and large-scale solar thermal technology.

The development of solar energy technology is integral to the President's Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), which seeks to change the way we power our homes, offices and vehicles by increasing the use of clean, renewable technologies.  Awards announced today build upon the $5.4 million in financial and technical assistance awarded to the thirteen Solar America Cities selected in 2007, including: Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; Berkeley, CA; Boston, MA; Madison, WI; New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Tucson, AZ, bringing the total number of Solar America Cities to 25.

Read more information on DOE's Solar America Cities Program.

Media contact(s):

Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940

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