Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its selections for the first round of Solar America Showcases (SAS). The Department selected three proposals for technical assistance during FY 2007.— Forest City Military Communities, for the proposal, “Residential Hybrid Solar Electric & Thermal Systems in Hawaii.” DOE will help determine the feasibility of incorporating hybrid solar-thermal electric systems to a large military residential project in Oahu. — Orange County, Florida, for the proposal, “Photovoltaic Demonstration and Research Facility & Family Learning Center.” DOE will help evaluate the technical feasibility of placing an 800kW photovoltaic system on the Orange County Convention Center, the second largest convention center in the southeastern U.S. — City of San Jose, California, for the proposal, “Smart Solar Initiative.” DOE will provide technical and cost-benefit analysis in evaluating the potential of multiple large buildings and complexes in San Jose for solar photovoltaic and thermal applications. The Solar America Showcases activity is part of the President’s Solar America Initiative (SAI), which seeks to make solar energy cost competitive by 2015. The Showcases are designed to help reach the SAI goal by facilitating large-scale installations that involve cutting-edge solar technologies, novel applications of solar, high visibility sites, and/or high likelihood of replicability. SAS does not provide financial assistance; instead it provides technical assistance to worthy proposals through teams of DOE-funded solar experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, the Southeast and Southwest Region Experiment Stations, and private firms. A new call for SAS proposals has recently been announced, and will close on July 10, 2007.