February 17, 2018

Fayetteville Public Library Going Green and Local with Solar Power

  • 48 solar panels to be installed on library roof
  • Educational kiosk will track energy savings
  • Project funded by $60,000 ICMA grant

Though the solar energy that will sustain the Fayetteville Public Library, AR, in 2010 comes from 93 million miles away, the solar panels themselves come from just down the road. As reported in the Northwest Arkansas Times, the Fayetteville Public Library (LJ‘s 2005 Library of the Year) is participating in an experiment with local tech company Power Electronics International to install 48 solar panels on the library’s roof.

In addition to generating ten to 20 kilowatts (roughly the amount of power used by a small neighborhood of homes), the plan will also “position the library as the city’s incubator for local solar business development and stimulate Fayetteville’s fledgling green businesses, as well as promote citizen interest in adopting solar technologies,” according to the proposal.

There’s an educational and outreach component as well: a planned educational kiosk will track the library’s solar energy harvesting and usage. “This is where everyone can see up close a project like this happening and see a screen showing in real-time how much power it’s producing,” library director Louise Schaper told the paper. “That’s a benefit for every citizen in Fayetteville.”

The solar panels for the library roof will be paid for with a $60,000 grant from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), while the educational kiosk will be paid for with an additional $8000 grant from the Arkansas Energy Office.

The Fayetteville solar panel project is one of nine public library innovation grant recipients selected by ICMA from among 515 applications. For more on the other grant recipients, read “Nine Public Library Innovation Grants Announced by ICMA.”

Josh Hadro About Josh Hadro

Josh Hadro (@hadro on Twitter) is the former Executive Editor of Library Journal.