14th annual ASES National Solar Tour, Saturday October 03
More than a dozen homes and buildings in the greater Tampa Bay area will be featured on Saturday, Oct. 3, as part of the 14th annual ASES National Solar Tour. Organized by Students for the Marketing and Advancement of Renewable Technologies (SMART) under the auspices of the Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) at the University of South Florida and the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the tour aims to introduce communities to solar technologies and energy efficiency.
More than 5,000 homes, schools and businesses across the United States will participate in the event. In Tampa, the tour kicks off at USF’s Research Park with a program from 10 to 11 a.m. featuring guest speakers, presentations and demonstrations on solar energy. Participants will receive a free ASES “Get Started” guide along with a local tour guide with directions and descriptions of the 13 energy efficient/solar powered buildings in the Tampa Bay area. The tour guide serves as an admission ticket to each location, either on one’s own or by taking a free shuttle bus to selected homes on the tour. The free bus will be available on a first-come first-serve basis, departing from USF’s Research Park at designated times from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The featured home on Tampa Bay’s first Solar Tour is a newly solar powered home with a photovoltaic system, solar hot water heater, back-up batteries and solar attic fans. Also being showcased is the St. Petersburg home of Amber and Darren Brinkley, owners of the first LEED Gold certified home in Florida; the Tampa Bay History Center; Eco-Farm in Plant City; and Estela’s Mexican Restaurant in Brandon. Other tour locations are in Tampa, Seminole Heights, St. Petersburg, Land O’ Lakes, and Seminole.
“The tour gives locals a glimpse at how an increasing number of families are going solar,” says Jamie Trahan, Tampa’s tour coordinator. “It’s part of a national collaboration to help Americans address a critical problem while introducing them to an array of clean, effective solutions that generate ongoing economic and environmental rewards.”
The national tours, which last year attracted more than 140,000 people in 49 states, afford participants the direct perspectives of homeowners and installers about the costs, components, and economic and environmental benefits of going solar. Those benefits include reducing monthly energy bills, reducing harmful carbon emissions, and enjoying tax credits and cash incentives as well as improving property values.
“In the wake of national polls revealing that runaway energy costs is the economic issue Americans believe most personally affects them, the ASES National Solar Tour brings real-life examples of how neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills,” said Neal Lurie, director of marketing for the American Solar Energy Society.
This event, billed as the largest grassroots solar energy event in the history of the United States, is FREE. Sponsors for the Tampa tour include the Tampa Bay Sierra Club and WMNF-FM. Details are available at: www.tampasolartour.blogspot.com and www.nationalsolartour.org. Research Park is located on the USF campus at 3720 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612.
Contact: Jamie Trahan,
USF Clean Energy Research Center