DOE Offers Funding to Solar America Cities

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced the agency 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, 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.

"These Solar America Cities aim to jumpstart integration of solar power and encourage other cities across the nation to follow suit," Bodman said. "The innovative programs already under way 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, Colo.; Houston, Texas; Knoxville, Tenn.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, Calif.; Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Seattle, Wash.

DOE also will 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.

These awards build upon the $5.4 million in financial and technical assistance awarded to the 13 Solar America Cities selected in 2007, including: Ann Arbor, Mich.; Austin, Texas; Berkeley, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; Madison, Wis.; New Orleans, La.; New York City, N.Y.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Diego, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; and Tucson, Ariz., bringing the total number to 25.

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