Portland Now a Solar America City, DOE Selects Recipients of Solar America Awards

The City of Portland, Oregon has adopted a new goal of obtaining five megawatts (MW) of city-wide solar by 2012. The city has also been formally recognized as a Solar America City by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Through the Solar America Cities program, Portland receives financial and technical assistance to fund innovative solar energy initiatives that are designed to facilitate mainstream adoption of solar energy and will serve as a model for other cities.

“With Portland’s Solar Now! campaign, the City has made great strides in overcoming the perception that solar does not work in Oregon. The efforts here demonstrate that going solar does not need to be complex and that even in the Pacific Northwest, solar can be a key component of a city’s energy infrastructure. We’re very pleased to help accelerate Portland’s efforts and to see Mayor Adams forge new solar goals for the city,” said Tom Kimbis, director of solar market transformation, Department of Energy.

Since the inception of Solar Now!, Portland residents and businesses have installed over 2 MW of solar electric power, removing 2 million pounds of CO2 from the environment that would otherwise be produced from traditional power plants. The program provides a one-stop resource for homeowners and businesses seeking to access clean, reliable energy. With DOE support, Solar Now! streamlines Portland’s permitting process, as well as helps implement solar on City-owned facilities.

DOE has also announced three new winners of Solar America Showcases awards. The Solar America Showcases effort is run by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program and provides technical assistance to large solar energy installation projects that are highly visible, novel, and replicable throughout the nation.

This most recent competition added three award winners including Sequoia Foundation from California, Forest City Communities from Hawaii and National Community Builders from Ohio.

All Solar America Showcases projects receive free DOE technical assistance utilizing experts from the national laboratories, universities and a competitively selected engineering firm funded in fiscal year 2009. These competitions are part of DOE’s strategy to accelerate and advance solar energy technology adoption and integration.

For more information about DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program, click here.

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