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Alameda’s Main Library goes solar

Submitted by on 1, April 1, 2011 – 12:01 amOne Comment


Alameda’s main library went solar on Thursday when a crane hoisted 286 solar panels onto the library’s roof.

The new, 67.2-kilowatt system – the first solar system for a municipal building in Alameda – will generate up to 20 percent of the library’s electricity and take an estimated 110,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air, or about the same amount generated by a dozen passenger cars each year.

Library Director Jane Chisaki said the panels are the last piece of the plan for construction of the main library. She said the panels were cut from the original plan to save money, but the infrastructure to house them was built in the hope the money to pay for them could one day be found.

“It’s something we wanted to do the entire time, and we waited for funding to be available,” Chisaki said Thursday over the whirr of a crane parked in the library parking lot.

The City Council opted to use $414,000 in federal stimulus funds for the project, and the city also received solar rebate money from Alameda Municipal Power.

Library patrons can monitor the panels’ work via an AMP-provided kiosk in the library that will contain information about the panels, do-it-yourself projects for greening your home and a utility that helps patrons monitor their own home electric consumption. The kiosk will also have a kids’ corner.

The panels were designed and created by Sun Light & Power of Berkeley.

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