DOE Announces Three New Solar America Showcase Awards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has made three new technical assistance awards under the Solar America Showcases project run by the Solar Energy Technologies Program. These awards provide technical assistance from solar energy experts to high-visibility, large-scale solar installations.

The three new Solar America Showcases winners are:

  • District Department of the Environment / District of Columbia Energy Office, “Developing New Markets to Accelerate Solar Energy Technology Deployment”. This Washington project involves integrating solar energy technologies to power, heat and cool three public schools.

  • State of New Mexico, “Zero Energy Solar Photovoltaic Housing Development.” New Mexico will work with the City of Albuquerque, the local utility (PNM), Artistic Homes, and Forest City’s Mesa Del Sol project to showcase grid-tied PV systems on as many as 300 energy efficient homes.

  • Steiner & Associates, “Speeding Solar Integration in the Town)Center Marketplace: Three Geographically and Planning)Stage Diverse Integrations”. Steiner, a Columbus, Ohio-based developer, will implement solar installations at three sustainable “town center” locations in Ohio, Texas and Virginia.

Technical assistance to these award winners will be on the order of $200,000 each, or $600,000 total, and includes assistance in areas such as:

  • Regulatory and permitting assistance
  • Structural analysis of the existing building
  • Solar financing
  • Suggestions for structural upgrades to support the new solar system
  • Architectural, mechanical and electrical design assistance to insure compliance with state-of-the-art solar design principles and building codes

In addition, technical experts will assist with overall project management and provide best practices and “lessons learned” from other solar projects.

“These three new projects add great geographic diversity to the Showcases program, and deal with public, residential, and commercial applications, as well as cutting-edge utility interaction issues.” said Thomas P. Kimbis, Director of the Solar America Showcases program.

The Solar America Showcases activity is part of the President’s Solar America Initiative (SAI), which seeks to make electricity generated from solar photovoltaics systems cost-competitive with grid electricity by 2015. Solar America Showcases are chosen through a competitive award process, and preference is given to large-scale, highly visible, highly replicable installations that involve cutting-edge solar technologies or novel applications of solar.

Technical assistance is provided by experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, DOE’s Southeast and Southwest Regional Experiment Stations at the Florida Solar Energy Center and New Mexico State University, and competitively-selected engineering firm CH2M Hill.

DOE is still accepting applications for new Solar America Showcases! For more information on requirements and how to apply, read the Notice of Technical Assistance, click here. Applications are due October 9, 2008.

Source: US DOE EERE News

August 8, 2008


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