Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today declared October 12 - 16 "Solar Week" in the City of Pittsburgh as City employees install the first of five planned solar hot water heaters tomorrow, and host the first of its kind "solar cities" conference on Thursday.
Beginning on Monday, Oct. 12, City electricians, plumbers, steamfitters, foremen and supervisors will participate in a half-day classroom training on solar panel installation, led by Chuck Marken of Sandia National Laboratories.
On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the employees will have the opportunity to translate this training into hands-on experience installing 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. Four 4 x 10 foot panels will be installed on the southern facing side of the firehouse roof. These panels will harness the sun's energy to produce hot water for the kitchen, bathroom, and showers in this house, eliminating the need to use natural gas for this purpose.
*MEDIA WILL BE INVITED advisory to follow
The City will follow this first installation with five additional solar thermal installations in 2010.
On Oct. 15 16, the City, with assistance provided by the Department of Energy, will host a two-day conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, targeting cities with colder climates, with the goal of advancing the integration of solar technology in the northeastern U.S.
Invitations were issued to 125 municipal employees in more than 20 northeastern U.S. cities, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, Buffalo and Cleveland. Also registered to attend the Northeastern Solar Cities Conference are municipal leaders from throughout Allegheny County.
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 DOE, Sandia National Laboratories, PA Department of Environmental Protection and the International Renewable Energy Council will be presenting.
Solar America Cities is a partnership between the DOE and a select group of cities across the country that have committed to accelerating the adoption of solar energy technologies at the local level. The 25 cities selected received a combined $5 million in Department of Energy funding in addition to substantial hands-on technical assistance, provided by Sandia National Laboratories, over a two-year period. Sandia National Laboratories is a government-owned, contractor operated facility that manages energy initiatives for DOE.
Monday, October 12, 2009
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687