U.S. Rep. Ron Barber this week will host two events focusing on solar power's role in boosting the Southern Arizona economy and reducing the nation's dependence on imported oil.
"Arizona is the nation's sunniest state, with Tucson being one of the nation's sunniest cities," Barber said today. "There is no reason that we should not also be the nation's leader in the development and use of solar power."
To help make that a reality, Barber on Wednesday will host a roundtable discussion on the future of the solar industry in Arizona. The event, featuring solar business leaders and researchers, will focus on economic development of solar projects through public-private partnerships.
The event will be held at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park, which is a key player in solar research in Southern Arizona. The park is home to the Solar Zone, a first-of-its-kind solar-centric research center where various solar technologies are developed and evaluated.
Tonight, Barber will kick off the 58th Solar Power 101 workshop, continuing a community education series that has provided information to thousands of Southern Arizonans over the past five years.
The workshop, to be held at Martha Cooper Branch Library, will focus on the importance of solar to the local economy as well as an overview of solar programs for those interested in installing a system. Speaking will be:
Dianna Thor of the Pima County Public Library, welcoming participants
Barber discussing the importance of solar to the Southern Arizona economy
Katherine Kent, owner of The Solar Store, will talk about solar hot water systems
Bruce Plenk, solar energy coordinator for the city of Tucson, will give an overview of the city's solar programs and projects
This is the second Solar Power 101 Barber has held since he was elected in June. He will make them fixtures on his office schedule, with future events to be held throughout his Southern Arizona district.
Media is welcome to attend tonight's Solar Power 101. The Wednesday solar roundtable is by invitation only.