The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, D.C., recently announced it has made three new technical assistance awards under the Solar America Showcases project, which is run by the Solar Energy Technologies Program. These awards provide technical assistance from solar energy experts to high-visibility, large-scale solar installations.

The three new Solar America Showcases winners are:

  • The Hartman Co., Georgetown, Texas: This project involves a 115kW solar photovoltaic (PV) installation at the Hyatt Regency Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz., which is part of a master plan to replicate a number of solar energy technologies at other Hyatt facilities.
  • Philadelphia Water Department: This project involves new PV installations to power drinking water treatment facilities, providing up to 7.6MW of new capacity.
  • Southwest Solar Technologies, Inc.: This Phoenix-based development at Riverpoint Solar Research Park involves a solar test and demonstration installation, providing 1MW of combined solar and storage energy.

Technical assistance to these award winners includes assistance in areas such as:

  • Regulatory and permitting assistance
  • Structural analysis of the existing building
  • Solar financing
  • Suggestions for structural upgrades to support the new solar system
  • Architectural, mechanical and electrical design assistance to insure compliance with state-of-the-art solar design principles and building codes

In addition, technical experts will assist with overall project management and provide best practices and "lessons learned" from other solar projects.