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Lights on: Tempe Public Library to add solar power

(Facebook Photo)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Solar power will soon be keeping the lights on at the Tempe Public Library.

By January, the library near Rural Road and Southern Avenue, will have new solar power parking canopies that will serve two roles: providing power to the building and offering a place for festivals and community gatherings.

“There’s going to be 486 solar panels on top of the library building as well,” Tempe city spokeswoman Melissa Quillard. “All three of these big pieces of solar installations that are taking place are going to provide about 35 percent of the library complex’s power needs.”

She said it will cost Tempe $134,000 to build, but the city will recoup a lot of the cost.

“We expect this system to save the city a little over $95,000 over the next 20 years, and, of course, savings beyond that as well,” Quillard said.

The panels are part of a larger plan that will help the environment while saving Tempe more than $2.3 million over 20 years.

“This is part of the overall portfolio to provide renewable energy, to help clean the environment, to help take care of our environment, to reduce emissions,” Quillard said. “It’s part of the bigger picture. We have several solar projects that are in place and in the works.”

Tempe is also planning another solar power system that will provide 12 percent of the power needs at the police and courts building. A third one will provide 15 percent of the power to a water treatment plant.

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