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The stars - or in this case the sunbeams - aligned to make a renewable energy initiative called the New Bohemia Solar Project a reality in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
An array of solar panels capable of generating 7,200 watts of electricity was installed in summer 2005 on the Kouba Building in southeast Cedar Rapids. The building is part of a brownfield redevelopment area adjacent to the Bohemian Historic Commercial District.
The power produced from the largest solar project in Iowa is being purchased by Alliant Energy for our award-winning Second Nature renewable energy program.
The New Bohemia Solar Project was a partnership effort between the Iowa Renewable Energy Association, Alliant Energy, the city of Cedar Rapids, Thorland Company and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It received a Governor's Iowa Environmental Excellence Award in 2005. New Bohemia is the highest rated solar project of DOE-supported projects in the country based on scope, partnership among organizations and benefit to the environment and community. Hands-on workshops and tours have educated the general public about solar technology.
The Kouba Building, owned by the Thorland Company, is part of Cherry Center Properties, a former factory and warehouse that is being converted to a dynamic, multi-use facility that includes graphic arts firms, photographers' and artists' studios, small shops, small manufacturers and loft apartments.