Elementary school students look over a solar demonstration trailer. | Photo courtesy of the City of Hollywood, FL

There’s a term in Hollywood, California that signifies a long-standing tradition in show biz to decide the future of many of today’s television shows. “Sweeps Week”, as it has been coined, is often the deciding factor for shows that need to stop in order for new ones to start. “Sweeps Week” applies in Hollywood, Florida, too — just not in a way you might imagine. For the residents of this costal town where the average climate is 77 degrees and sunny, the term represents the beginning of a new path to a cleaner energy future.

The last week in April was designated as Hollywood’s Green S.W.E.E.P. (Solar Wind Energy Efficiency Project) and included the installation of solar panels and wind turbines on a number of city facilities to reduce energy costs and promote renewable energy technologies. The city received a $1.3 million grant through the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This federal stimulus funding was designed to create jobs and increase the use of renewable energy.

Hollywood has partnered with Energy Systems Group (ESG), to develop the Green S.W.E.E.P. project which includes the installation of solar panels capable of generating 140 kW of solar photovoltaic capacity and wind turbines with a total generation capacity of 4kW. These renewable energy technologies will be installed at City Hall, the Hollywood Beach Culture and Community Center and Fire Stations 74 and 105. In addition, new energy efficient reflective cool roofs will be installed at City Hall and the Hollywood Beach Culture and Community Center.

"In Hollywood we are constantly pursuing opportunities to adopt innovative and environmentally friendly practices," said Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober. "This project shows how solar and wind power can be used in a very practical way to reduce traditional power consumption and save money."

Hollywood Green S.W.E.E.P. will reduce the city's energy costs and carbon pollution and serve as an example of how renewable energy technologies can be used in the public and private sectors to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Once the project is complete, the city's website, www.hollywoodfl.org, will link visitors to the Hollywood S.W.E.E.P. webpage where they can view in real time the amount of wind and solar energy being generated at the four facilities.

Approximately 80 elementary students participated in the kick-off event which included a solar demonstration trailer from Advanced Green Technologies that showed a solar powered kitchen. There were also displays of other environmentally friendly practices including a water cistern system being utilized at the city's Public Works facility, Florida friendly plants and a green-living pledge tree displayed by the city's Global Hollywood strategic network.

For additional information about the project, go to the City's website www.hollywoodfl.org and click on Hollywood Goes Green.