SOURCE: City of Portland

City of Portland

April 20, 2009 08:00 ET

Mayor Adams Addresses Solar Energy Goal; Portland Formally Recognized as Solar America City

Sunday Event at National League of Cities Conference Showcases Portland's Sustainability Efforts, New Solar Megawatt Goal and Involvement in the Department of Energy's Solar America Cities Program

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwire - April 20, 2009) - Mayor Sam Adams announced yesterday at the National League of Cities' (NLC) Green Cities Conference & Expo that the City of Portland has adopted a new goal of obtaining five megawatts (MW) of city-wide solar by 2012. This solar goal was debuted when the mayor took the stage to have Portland 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.

Throughout the Green Cities conference, the City of Portland is being highlighted as an exemplary model of green initiatives and innovations that bolster the economic and physical health of its infrastructure and citizens. Portland is one of only 25 cities in the nation to receive the Solar America City designation by the DOE.

"Having Portland recognized as a leader in solar adoption is significant. For years we fought the misperception that solar is impossible in this part of the country. We know that to be false, as we demonstrate through collaboration between public and private enterprises, that we can be leaders in the manufacturing and adoption of solar energy," said Mayor Adams. "To continue to lead as America's most sustainable city, we have set a 5MW goal and, with the assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy and our Solar Now! partners, I believe we may even double that."

Since the inception of Solar Now!, Portland residents and businesses have installed over 2MW 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.

In addition to providing financial assistance to the Solar America Cities, the DOE offers hands-on assistance from technical experts to help integrate solar technologies into energy planning, zoning and facilities. As an example, a portion of the Solar America City funding for Portland will be used for a solar map portal that will enable residents to quickly access the estimated solar potential of their rooftops, as well as see existing solar installations in their neighborhood. The portal will also provide an important visual mechanism to track the growth of solar energy installations around the city and provide links to resources and financial incentives to go solar. The portal is currently under development by CH2M HILL, a technical assistance partner to the City of Portland through the Solar America Cities program.

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Editor's Note: For information about Solar America Cities or to conduct interviews with Mayor Sam Adams or with Solar America Cities spokespeople, please contact: Jennifer Wills, 303-882-4676 or by email at; or Jennifer Jansky, 303-956-0001 or by email at Previews and demonstrations of the solar map being planned for Portland can also be made available upon request.

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