2007 Solar America City Austin, Texas, was also host to the 2005 North American Solar Challenge, a 10-day cross-country solar car race that started in Austin and ended in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Photo: Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) now provides funding for up to 12 cities that demonstrate a commitment to building a sustainable solar infrastructure.

DOE's Solar America Cities program provides up to $2.4 million in financial assistance to competitively selected, cost-shared, two-year projects. Additionally, DOE will provide up to $3 million and two years of hands-on technical assistance from technical and policy experts to help cities integrate solar technologies into energy planning, zoning, and facilities; streamline city-level regulations and practices that affect solar adoption by residents and local businesses; and promote solar technology through outreach, curriculum development, and incentive programs.

Eligible cities have a population of 100,000 or more and a high electricity demand. These cities must also represent a diverse geography, population, and maturity of solar infrastructure.

Last year's Solar America Cities were: Ann Arbor, Mich.; Austin, Texas; Berkeley, Calif; Boston; Madison, Wis.; New Orleans; New York; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; San Diego; San Francisco; and Tucson, Ariz.

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