Solar City


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view-of-the-demonstration-showcase

Editor’s Note: This is the final piece in a four-part series looking at the environmental efforts of the city of San Jose, California.

By Debra Atlas

SAN JOSE, CA — Solar installations grew by 69 percent nationwide over the last year, and the City of San Jose is at the head of the race. Last year, San Jose made more solar installations than any other city in the state. The U.S. Department of Energy named San Jose one of three “Solar American Showcase” cities in 2007, and in 2008 the city was designated one of the 25 Solar America Cities.

The Solar America Cities program was created so the designated cities could share their experiences and best practices with other cities. Cities interested in using the technology more can then adapt this information to their own community. The designated cities cover different climates from around the country. It was a way to help break down barriers to this energy source, both commercial and residential, according to Mike Foster, who manages the city’s community energy efficiency and green building programs.

San Jose has always been at the forefront of innovation, ever since it became California’s first established city in 1777, and using technology to go green came naturally. To promote public awareness of clean-tech, San Jose created the Clean Energy Showcase, which puts solar, wind, and electric vehicle (EV) technologies on display across from City Hall.

Close to 6,000 people have toured the showcase since it opened in December 2010, including groups as varied as local schoolchildren, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and Russian entrepreneurs. The block-long exhibit is a hands-on demonstration area created to help educate the community about the benefits of the clean energy technology and how to save money by adopting it.

Among the various solar technologies the exhibit features are the Solar Clover by Armageddon Energy, a Sun Oven solar cooker that scouts use to bake their favorite cookies, and a solar heating and cooling unit reminiscent of a bay window. The Showcase is a great example of the city’s Green Vision Plan and the possibilities it holds for the future of San Jose.

For related stories, see:
Northern California City Reinvents Itself as Green
San Jose’s Green Vision
The Solar Power of San Jose

Check out more articles by Debra Atlas.

© 2011 SCGH, LLC. 

One Response

  1. Neto July 14, 2012

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