Popular Solar Power 101 event is tonight and Solar Energy Roundtable is tomorrow afternoon

TUCSON, AZ – February 24, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office is hosting two events today and tomorrow to provide solar energy information to Tucson-area homeowners and small business owners.

This evening, Giffords’ staff will offer the popular Solar Power 101 event, a community education series on solar energy. This is the 45th Solar Power 101 that has been offered since Giffords took office in 2007.

Solar Power 101
is especially useful for homeowners who are considering installation of a solar power system. Local solar business owners will discuss the basics of photovoltaic and solar hot water and a representative of Tucson Electric Power Co. will talk about energy efficiency.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free event.

Tomorrow, Giffords’ office and Tucson Electric Power will host a Solar Energy Roundtable. The event is for small business owners who are considering solar or who have successfully installed solar systems so they can discuss challenges in installing a solar power system.

Among those attending will be representatives of TEP, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Technicians for Sustainability, the city of Tucson, the Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce, Venture Catalyst, the Tucson Solar Standards Board, The Solar Store and solar installer GeoInnovation.

Giffords, a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, is one of the most passionate supporters of solar energy in Congress.

In June, Giffords was recognized as the 2010 Advocate of Optics by The Optical Society of America, a 94-year-old international organization. The society said Giffords was honored because of her support of science, optics and photonics and because she is an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.

The optics award praised Giffords’ Solar Technology Roadmap Act for proposing an increase for solar funding to the U.S. Department of Energy. The congresswoman’s bill will help guide research and development funding through a plan developed by a private/public advisory committee. The legislation was passed by the House last year and awaits action by the Senate.

Giffords also played a key role in obtaining a $1.45 billion federal loan guarantee that will enable construction of Arizona’s largest solar power-generation plant near Gila Bend. The plant, to be built by Abengoa Solar Inc. on 3,000 acres of former farmland, will allow 70,000 Arizona homes to be powered by the sun.

Giffords also has installed solar panels on the roof of her Tucson home.

Tomorrow’s Solar Energy Roundtable event is open only to those who already have reserved a spot. However media is welcome to attend both solar events.

WHAT: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office hosts Solar Power 101
WHEN: 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011
WHERE: Murphy Wilmot Branch Library, 530 N. Wilmot Road

WHAT: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office and Tucson Electric Power Co. host Solar Energy Roundtable for small businesses
WHEN: 1:30-3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
WHERE: Tucson Electric Power Co., 1 S. Church Ave., 20th floor


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