Photo courtesy City of Boise by Otto Kitsinger
Photo courtesy City of Boise by Otto Kitsinger

The new Library! at Bown Crossing in Boise opened this month — and above the books and computers and other typical library fare will be an extra feature: solar panels.

Library communications manager Kevin Winslow says the project is a test, for now.

“We’re currently running a test/pilot with a couple panels to measure how much energy production we get,” Winslow said. “After running the building for a year, we’ll know how much energy it consumes and have a good estimate as to how much solar production we can get per panel.”

The building permit says the installation is a 2-kilowatt facility, installed by local company Bluebird Solar and Light.

If the pilot works out more solar panels may be added – with the goal of having the library having a net-zero energy rating, meaning it doesn’t draw any energy from the greater power grid.

(Here’s an archive of a story I did years ago at KTVB – I Wonder: why does the Library have the “!” on it?


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Don has been covering news in Boise for 20 years. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.