City Outfits Beatley Library with Solar Panels

Project is funded by a U.S. Energy Department grant.

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.

Scooby's Doo July 31, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I'm very much in favor of solar, but I am not sure this was a good idea.
lawgal August 01, 2012 at 03:16 PM
The library roof would eventually need maintenance or an upgrade. It is a good idea to take advantage of the many days of abundant sunshine here to reduce electrical consumption. Other buildings should do the same. Politicians: Please don't try to figure out who I am and try to make contact to get my support. I do not appreciate robo-calls and intend to steer clear of the political acrimony.
Cockins Gobbler August 01, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Glad to see the Va market for solar making some progress.
Sherrie Good August 01, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Three years ago I was the first person to have solar panels installed in Alexandria. The Patch did a nice article on the installation and results. We have 12 panels on the roof and 16 batteries charging from the sun in the basement. EVERY appliance runs on solar power, except the central air. It is the only thing wired to Dominion. We are getting 90 to 95% of all our power from the sun. We have been through three major storms (The downburst that hit Del Ray, hurricane Irene and the recent derecho storm) and never lost power. We did, however, not have AC, but we had fans! While Alexandria gets some power from the incinerator, some comes from coal power. The coal comes from West Virginia where it is acquired by blowing the tops off the Appalachian Mountains. I applaud the city for this effort, and only hope it is the beginning of a crucial necessity. I also hope the city is purchasing panels made in the US, mine are.
Fred Krambeck August 01, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I would think that this news article would include the cost of the system and what the City thinks it will save on energy bills. Is this a secret or just embarrassing?


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