Beginning the first week of June, Arlington County’s Department of Environmental Services will install solar panels on the roof of the Central Library to help reduce the facility’s “peak demand” energy usage, offset a portion of its electricity consumption, and ultimately save money.
The 60-kilowatts solar photovoltaic system will consist of 250 solar panels on the roof of the Central Library, in order to:
- Collect sunlight during all seasons
- Offset a portion of the building’s electrical consumption
- Save approximately $14,000 in energy costs annually
- Reduce the County’s CO2 emissions by about 100,000 pounds annually
As part of Fresh AIRE (Arlington Initiative to Reduce Emissions), the new solar photovoltaic system will contribute to Arlington’s goal to reduce the County government greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by 2012. Central Library is an ideal facility for a solar photovoltaic system, due to its large, flat roof that can easily collect sunlight, coupled with previous AIRE energy efficiency improvements.
This project is funded entirely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Impact on Library Service:
- The work will have little to no impact on access to Central Library or its services.
- Construction is scheduled to begin in early June and will take approximately two months to complete, weather-permitting.
- During the work, ten parking spaces in the north parking lot will be used for a six week period for storage and staging.
- If additional parking spaces are needed, patrons will be given as much notice as possible.
Energy Improvements at Central Library
With one of the largest public library collections in Metro DC, Central Library runs the typical heating, cooling, ventilation (HVAC), lighting, and water heating equipment associated with a commercial building, as well as a robust public access computer center and office equipment for staff use.
A series of adjustments and retrofits to Central Library’s building systems over the last decade have:
- Cut electricity consumption by 38 percent from 2000 to 2010
- Saved over $90,000 in avoided electricity costs
- Prevented nearly 580 metric tons in CO2 emissions – the same as taking 400 cars off the road or planting nearly 15,000 trees.
For more information about the solar panel installation, please contact Viswanadhan Yallayi at 703-228-0755 in the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.
For details about Fresh AIRE and Arlington’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in County facilities, please contact John Morrill at 703-228-4426. Or visit http://www.arlingtonva.us/ and search “central library solar panels.”