Solar Cities Conference coming to Pittsburgh in October

Leaders of more than 20 cities from across the Northeast will meet at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Oct. 15 and 16. The two-day conference will target cities with colder climates with the goal of advancing the integration of solar technology.

“A lot of the southern cities we’ve had contact with at the SAC conferences have had established solar programs,” said James Sloss, Energy & Utilities Manager. “We’re looking to take what we’ve learned and pass that on to surrounding cities in the PA, Ohio, NY, WV region.”

Pittsburgh is one of 25 Solar America Cities.

Conference attendees will learn how to replicate Pittsburgh’s solar program through seminars geared towards planning and zoning, solar access laws, solar financing, and inspection, as well as gain a basic understanding of solar thermal and photovoltaics. Representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Sandia National Laboratories will be conducting the training.

Pittsburgh’s program will be used as a model through seminars conducted by representatives from the Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories, a government contractor that manages energy initiatives. The city will install its first planned solar installation at a city firehouse on October 14 and 15 guided by Chuck Marken of Sandia National Laboratories.

“These installations are part of the Pittsburgh’s Solar America Cities tasks,” said Sloss. “We were looking at bringing in professionals to train our staff (plumbers, electricians, carpenters), and decided what better way to train them than with an actual installation.”

Sandia National Laboratories, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) personnel and City staff will install a solar hot water system on the roof of local Firehouse Truck 34, located at 3284 Central Avenue in the City’s North Side neighborhood. This will be the first Pittsburgh Solar Cities installation and will be followed by five solar installations to be completed by the end of 2010. The City, working with Carnegie Mellon University, is currently analyzing energy data and visiting facilities to determine the future installations.

An RFP for the purchase of the solar equipment was issued on Friday, July 10. Forms are available on both the City and County websites. Deadline for submission is Wednesday, July 29 at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact James Sloss at 412-255-2255.

Source: Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl

Joana Doven


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