Workshop will discuss latest technology and trends in rapidly growing solar energy field

TUCSON, AZ – October 12, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is holding a workshop today to provide information to homeowners and business owners who are considering solar energy for their properties.

This evening, Giffords’ office will hold its 50th Solar 101, a continuing community education series on solar energy. This workshop will focus on the latest solar technology as well as trends in rooftop, community-scale and utility-scale solar installations.

Tonight’s event will be held at the Woods Memorial Branch Library in Tucson – the same place Giffords held her first Solar 101 event in November 2007.

Speakers will be:

Tom Alston, solar outreach and policy coordinator for Giffords’ office, who will give an overview of solar basics.

Kevin Koch, owner of Technicians for Sustainability, who will talk about rooftop solar for homes and businesses.

Bruce Plenk, solar energy coordinator for the city of Tucson, who will discuss some of the city’s latest solar projects.

Valeria Rauluk, of Venture Catalyst Inc., talking about larger-scale solar installations for businesses and communities.

Nick Theisen, service territory associate for Solon Corp., discussing large utility-scale solar projects.

Today’s event is free and open to the public but anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP by contacting RSVPsolar (at) mail.house (dot) gov or 520-881-3588.

Solar electric energy use worldwide has grown by an average of 30 percent annually over the past 20 years, driven by rapidly declining costs and prices. A <a href="http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/09/q2-report-u-s-solar-capacity-maintains-growth”>recent study found that the U.S. solar market is on pace to double last year’s installed capacity by the end of 2011. Tucson, which has more than 300 days of sunshine a year, has developed a reputation as the Southwest’s most active “Solar Center.”

Last month, Giffords’ office organized and hosted a Solar Summit on the state and future of the solar industry that attracted more than 100 participants to the U.S. Capitol. Giffords’ office also leads regular “Solar Hot Team” conference calls with policymakers and industry leaders.

Giffords, a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, is one of the most passionate supporters of solar energy in Congress. She played a key role in obtaining a that enabled construction of Arizona’s largest solar power-generation plants near Gila Bend. She also had solar panels installed on her home in Tucson.

Media is welcome to attend today’s event.

WHAT: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office hosts Solar 101 workshop on latest technology and trends in solar power

WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011

WHERE: Woods Memorial Branch Library, 3455 N. First Ave., Tucson

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