The City of Alexandria is beginning to install solar panels Tuesday at the Beatley Central Library, thanks to a federal grant.
The library, at 5005 Duke St., is getting the new technology via an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The solar panel project is a first for the city and supports the goals of Alexandria's Environmental Action Plan.
Converting sunlight to energy, the 42.3 kilowatt system features 180 solar panels that spread across each of Beatley's five roof peaks. The solar panels will help offset a portion of its electricity consumption, reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the building’s "peak demand" energy usage. Standard Solar is the project contractor.
Additionally, the library will use the solar project as a vehicle to teach children and adults about the benefits of renewable energy, sustainability and the library's green initiatives. Library staff will highlight ecologically-themed books such as "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," and an online public-accessible dashboard will indicate how much electricity the solar panels are generating.
The installation is scheduled for completiion in September.