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Department of Energy Announces Solar Grants
The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced plans to make up to $2.4 million to 12 cities across the country selected as Solar America Cities, with the aim of developing sustainable solar infrastructures.
he grant is part of 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 to be $12.1 million.
These Solar America Cities aim to jumpstart integration of solar power and encourage other cities across the nation to follow suit,” said Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, who made the announcement while delivering keynote remarks at the New Frontiers in Energy Summit 2008 in Denver.
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, Houston, Knoxville, Tenn.; Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia, Sacramento, Calif; San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, Calif.; Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Seattle.
In addition to investing up to $2.4 million in 2008, DOE also intends to 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.
DOE selected that are geographically diverse and have varying degrees of solar resources and experience with solar technologies. Plans call for each city to 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.