Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tucson, AZ - Clean Energy Jobs Day - a event

Last month, I attended an informative, inspiring and very-well-organized event hosted by featuring four prominent Tucson, AZ business projects - united by the sustainability theme. The event, (essentially a half-day tour) called Clean Energy Jobs Day, began at The Solar Store (one of Tucson's oldest retailers of solar energy products) with short rousing speeches by Southern Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva (D, Az), Tucson Vice Mayor Steve Leal (D), Tucson City Councilwoman Karen Uhlich (D) and Solar Store President Katherine Kent.

Among other things, the event was organized to rally support for additional federal green-jobs legislation (and the stimulus money to fund it) by introducing the local community to diverse, pioneering, successful projects and businesses that have provided significant leadership in green technology, sustainability in architectural design, green cooperative technical trades contractors and even in the food-services business. The tour ended at a fully solar-powered pizza parlor - Brooklyn Pizza - whose rooftop 82-panel PV grid - during the heat of the day - was not only powering the pizza ovens, the air conditioners, the beer coolers and the food-storage freezers, it was doing so while returning .72 kWh of green electrons back into the grid - the net effect of which was to run UniSource Energy's specially-designed feed-in electric meter backwards, providing a cost-saving credit onto the restaurant's electric bill.

Most impressive was the tour of legendary Tucson green pioneer builder/developer John Wesley Miller's award-winning downtown barrio renovation project Armory Park del Sol. Adjacent to - and just south of - downtown Tucson in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, the project's plat stipulates roughly 100 single family residences, all designed to maximize renewable energy sources - PV electric, solar hot water, thermal mass energy production - to recycle grey water, to optimize insulation and to minimize energy leakage and other forms of waste.

All in all, it was a very impressive tour and an inspiring reminder of both the possibilities and the delights of looking at business and enterprise from the perspective of sustainability using clean, green, carbon free renewable energy.

Look for a follow-up on John Wesley Miller here at Metro Green... coming soon.


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