Updated Fri, Aug 9, 2013 3:36 pm
The Athens County Public Library will be flipping the switch on a new solar panel array on Aug. 13.
The 224 panels on the south-facing roof of the building were installed by Third Sun Solar. Two anonymous donors are paying for the cost of the installation. The library isn't buying the solar panel array, instead hosting it and buying the power generated from Third Sun Solar under a Power Purchase Agreement. The cost will be about half of what the library currently pays.
"First major benefit and immediate benefit will be just the cost, saving electricity bill. We're expecting to save about half, 50 percent of our kilowatt hours as soon as this panels are on line for the first electricity generated," said James Hill, assistant director for the Athens County Public Libraries. "I'll estimate that the library would probably save at least from $300 to $500 a month just on the electricity bill for this building so that's books that library can buy and additional programming library can do for the patrons, keeping the buildings running, keeping the utilities going and those directly benefit the patrons be like actual physical things you can see and it's a big difference to people."
Hill says the solar panels are going to be a quite a sight for those driving through Athens because it's going to be bright and shiny and they're going to know right away where the library is.