Each year The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces three new technical assistance awards under the Solar America Showcases project. The goal of the project is to hasten the demand for solar technologies by supporting projects that inspire local governments, citizens, and organizations to use solar energy technologies. Preference for granting these annual awards is given to large-scale, highly replicable, commercially available solar technologies.
The Solar America Showcases is part of the President’s Solar America Initiative (SAI). The intent is to make electricity from solar photovoltaic systems cost competitive with grid electricity by 2015.
Solar America Showcases mirror most or all of these qualities:
- Greater than 100 kilowatts – required
- Use of novel solar technology or application
- High-visibility installation
- Replicable in whole or in part
The installations can include photovoltaic, concentrating solar power, solar water heating applications, or a combination of
The awards provide technical assistance via solar energy experts to high-visibility, large scale solar installations. The provided assistance includes regulatory and permitting support, cost/benefit examination, a financing options study, a structural and architectural analysis, design help, and bid specification preparation.
The three new winners for 2009 are:
The Hartman Company: 115 kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is part of a master plan that they’ll incorporate at other Hyatts.
Philadelphia Water Department: Photovoltaic installations to power drinking water treatment facilities providing up to 7.6 megawatts of new capacity.
Southwest Solar Technologies, Inc.: Riverpoint Solar Research Park development based out of Phoenix uses a solar test and demonstration installation providing 1 megawatt of combined solar and storage energy.
The winners will receive assistance in these areas:
- Regulatory and permitting.
- Structural analysis of existing building.
- Solar financing.
- Recommendations for structural upgrades to sustain the new solar system.
- Design assistance in architectural, mechanical, and electrical to establish compliance with design principals and building codes.
Technical experts will help with project management and offer advice they’ve learned from other solar projects.
Below is a link to the projects selected in 2007 and 2008: