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Commissioner Ken Russell Begins Project to Harness Solar Bike Lanes to Power Affordable Housing

(Miami, FL May 1, 2017) - City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell announced today that a pilot project to use solar bike lanes to power nearby affordable housing in Miami was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative’s Solar in Your Community Challenge, a $5 million prize competition that aims to expand solar electricity access.

The project, Brighter Days, is an initiative to develop an innovative program that enables low- and moderate-income households in Miami to go solar. The pilot program will explore solar paneled roadways that will generate low-cost, long-term sustainable solar power for private/public electricity needs in the OMNI Community Redevelopment Area, saving money for low-income residents through a utility discount or resilience rebate program. 

“We’re thankful that our team was selected to join the challenge,” said Commissioner Russell. “Our project will be the initial test for how we can combine smart technology and green initiatives with the most basic needs of our communities. It’s a great example of resilience planning.”

Commissioner Russell’s team and partner organizations will join hundreds of other teams from around the country in their pursuit of solar projects and programs that expand solar access to low- and moderate-income households and nonprofit organizations. All teams will compete for $1 million in final prizes, which will be awarded by judges based on each project or program’s innovation, impact, and applicability. 
 
The innovative program Brighter Days will implement the first solar paneled bike lane in Florida, using a technology imported from France. All City of Miami residents and South Floridians are invited to get involved! A crowdfunding campaign has been initiated to help make this pilot project a reality with matching funds. Here is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/brighterdaysmiami
 
“I look forward to seeing solar energy roads all around our city. It is a great action that will benefit our community as well as our planet,” added Commissioner Russell.
 
About Brighter Days  
Commissioner Russell has partnered with different experts and non-profit organizations for the implementation of the program. The French technology is on its testing phase, and states such as Georgia are already exploring the solar paneled roads.
 
About the Solar in Your Community Challenge
The Solar in Your Community Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative and administered by SUNY Polytechnic Institute, is a $5 million prize competition that aims to expand solar access to low and moderate income households; and state, local, and tribal governments; and non-profit organizations.
More information about the selected teams and the Solar in Your Community Challenge is at www.solarinyourcommunity.org.  
 
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption. SunShot aims to make solar energy a low cost electricity source for all Americans through research and development efforts in collaboration with public and private partners. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.
 
For more information contact:
 
Natalia Vanegas
Public Affairs Manager
Office of Commissioner Ken Russell

nvanegas@miamigov.com
305.250.5333


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