ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — The U.S. Department of Energy and the International City and Council Managers Association has recognized the City of Alexandria’s increased renewable energy use through solar panels; designating it “SolSmart Silver.”
“It says that we, as a city, are open for business with regards to solar energy,” said Energy Manager Bill Eger. “We’re supportive; we’re helping our residents and the solar energy community expand their presence here and across the DMV.” Going solar and reducing the amount of electricity the city uses ultimately saves taxpayer money.
Eger says the city has approximately 1 megawatt of solar panels: enough energy to power about 1,000 homes. The effort to install more solar panels throughout the city was part of its 2007 Eco-City Charter. In 2012, the city installed 42 kilowatts of solar panels across its Beatley Central Library’s roof, which offset about 5 percent of the building’s total energy use.
The city applied to be designated “SolSmart” by making renewable energy more accessible for its residents. Eger says the city has also made it easier for renewable energy companies to operate there.