Monday, March 30, 2009

Mayors Gather to Discuss Solar Energy

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is attending the 2nd Annual Solar America Cities Meeting in San Antonio today and tomorrow. Ravenstahl will join four other mayors in a panel discussion about the incorporation of solar energy into their respective regions.

Also on the panel is John Hieftje, Mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hiefjte says, similar to Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor does not receive much sunlight, but despite this lack of rays, his city has already implemented solar energy practices into some agencies including city firehouses.

Likewise, Pittsburgh will also switch to a solar thermal hot water heater at a city firehouse this summer. Last June Pittsburgh was awarded a $400,000 grant as one of the inaugural 13 Solar America Cities. The goal of the grant program is not just solar panel installation, but how city government can remove barriers to the use of solar technology and encourage its implementations by citizens and businesses. Pittsburgh’s Office of Sustainability will also continue to review and audit city facilities to determine the feasibility of adding solar power.

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