Reno Gambles On Wind Energy, Solar

The gaming mecca of Reno is placing a big bet on clean energy.
It became the first city in America to put wind turbines on the roof of City Hall.

The 17-story building was selected because a string of tall buildings causes a wind tunnel of sorts, the city said.
And city officials won't stop there, telling the Reno Gazette Journal that two more turbines will be placed on a parking garage in July.

All told, nine machines will be placed around the city, part of a test with results to be reported to the U.S. Department of Energy.

City officials also are placing solar arrays on government buildings.

The turbines and solar panels cost $3.5 million before $1.7 million in energy rebates, but federal stimulus funds are picking up the rest. The projects are expected to save the city $91,000 per year in energy costs.

Maybe Reno will be a trend setter, and we'll see more wind turbines and solar panels sprout up in other places - like the San Joaquin Valley where summer temps peak in triple digits and power bills run high.

Fresno has solar panels at the airport, Fresno State University and some other places, but the Valley, with abundant sun, bountiful agriculture resources and access to a transmission line, has rich opportunities for more alternative energy.
The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.
(Photo of Reno City Hall)