The Department of Energy wants to put solar panels on vacant, contaminated urban industrial sites, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson will announce today. The project will get underway in Chicago, where a solar panel manufacturer has agreed to set up shop on a 17-acre former dump site, and the city and local electric utility have agreed to buy $8 million worth of solar panels, some of which will be used to cover blighted buildings and feed energy into the grid. The DOE is exploring the possibility of launching similar projects in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other cities.

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