Solar Power Comes to Miami City Hall

MIAMI, Florida, April 22, 2008 (ENS) – A new clean energy system is powering Miami City Hall, making Miami the first major U.S. city to power its City Hall with solar and alternative energy.

The City Hall’s entire interior lighting system has been upgraded with state-of-the-art energy efficient lamps and fixtures. In addition, four state-of-the-art photovoltaic solar panels have been installed on the south lawn. Together, these efforts will reduce over half of the City Hall lighting load and cut the building’s energy bill by an estimated $9,000 per year.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz says these two measures reduce power use at City Hall by 60 percent, “not too bad for an old building like ours!”

“At Miami City Hall we are going help use the Sun to save tax payer dollars by harvesting clean energy,” said the mayor at the ribbon-cutting ceremony April 2. “Public-private partnerships leverage tax payer dollars so we can invest in other critical programs.”

The public-private partnership Mayor Diaz has made to fund these improvements is with EcoMedia, an environmental media company that operates the award-winning EcoZone Program, as well as several corporate sponsors.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz surveys the new solar panels on the lawn of City Hall. (Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor)

“Mayor Diaz and the City of Miami are leading the way by adopting green technologies and making use of clean, renewable energy,” said Paul Polizzotto, founder and CEO of EcoMedia. “Thanks to a successful public-private partnership, what we have here is a revolutionary model at work – corporate advertising dollars are being used to clean the environment.”

EcoMedia utilizes its traditional media offerings such as television, radio, out-of-home, online, interactive and event marketing to help corporations build their businesses. In turn, revenues are generated and used to make a positive environmental difference in the communities in which these companies and their employees live, work and do business.

EcoZone funds provided for the two energy management upgrades at Miami City Hall.

“The support we’re getting from the City of Miami and our many generous sponsors is exactly what we need to carry out EcoMedia’s vision of creating solutions for environmental challenges,” said Polizzotto. “Corporations are going to spend money on advertising anyway, so why not do it in a responsible way that improves the quality of life and the environment.”

Current and previous EcoZone Program sponsors include APL, Hyatt Regency, Miami Herald, Mercy Hospital, Kimco Realty, AbTech, Panther Real Estate Partners, the Romano Group, Method, Wild Oats, Terra Cycle, Nestle Waters’ Zephyrhills brand, Royal Caribbean, Waste Management, FPL, WCI Communities, Ferrous Processing, Publix Supermarkets and Montenay/Onyx.

Also in Miami, EcoZone’s relationship with AbTech has led to an in-kind sponsorship of the AbTech Smart Sponge, a water sanitizing product that acts as a filtration system for water running off the city streets.

The Smart Sponge device is installed inside stormwater drains to trap debris, oil, pollution, bacteria, pathogens and trash to keep them from entering waterways.

A collaborative effort led by the EcoZone program, AbTech and its Florida distributor, GlobeTec Construction, supported the installation and maintenance of the Smart Sponge on City Hall property and throughout the city.

Mayor Diaz is serious about greening the city. He introduced Miami’s first Citywide Tree Master Plan and a Green Fleet which requires all city vehicles to meet or exceed fuel efficient standards.

The mayor created the City of Miami Green Commission to bring together a cross-section of local experts and community representatives to help mold the city’s environmental policy in the areas of climate action, green buildings, urban forestry and bicycle transportation.

His efforts are paying off. In March, Miami was ranked #1 on the list of America’s Cleanest Cities. Mayor Diaz says this month’s efforts to green City Hall will further solidify the city’s standing as one that guards the environment for future generations.

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