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Earth Day Park in Washington, D.C. to be Solar Powered

For more information contact:
Mike Marsh, 275-4085

Golden, Colo., April 17, 1996 -- Lights powered with clean, renewable energy from the sun will illuminate Earth Day Park in Washington, D.C. just in time for the 26th annual celebration of Earth Day April 22, thanks to the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The DOE project, which will be dedicated by Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary on Earth Day, is a demonstration of the practical application of solar, or photovoltaic, technology in urban settings. The lighting system, designed to meet the District's strict visual codes, is noiseless, safe and does not release any pollution.

Earth Day Parks lights require more than 8,300 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The solar project will partially replace the energy used by park lighting, offsetting about 60 percent of the park's annual lighting requirements. Until now, Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) of Washington, D.C. provided all electricity.

Subcontractors for the project include Applied Power (APC), Lacey, Washington; GPU Service Corp., Parsippany, N.J.; and PEPCO. APC and DOE provided funding for the project.

The DOE-built Earth Day Park, located above the I-395 freeway and bordered by Independence Avenue in Washington, D.C., was dedicated by Secretary O'Leary on Earth Day 1995.