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Municipality of Anchorage Unveils Alaska’s Largest Rooftop Solar Array

Jul 11, 2019 | Monitor

216 panels will help power the Egan Center in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE—Mayor Ethan Berkowitz unveiled the city’s largest solar project to date, the installation of 216 solar panels on top of the Egan Center in Anchorage. With an expected lifespan of thirty years, this project is expected to save $21,000 in electricity costs in the first year and nearly $700,000 during its lifetime.

The 216 panels are weighted down with cinder blocks, so no holes were drilled into the roof of the Egan Center. This $200,000 project was paid for out of the Convention Center Capital Reserve Fund, a pool of money reserved for capital improvements from the Convention Center Room Tax Fund. This is the largest rooftop solar array in Alaska, and the expected payback on this project is seven-and-a-half years.

“This project is an example of how our city is building a stronger, more diversified economy, addressing the impacts of climate change,” said Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. This new solar array will produce 80.72 megawatts and is expected to offset the equivalent energy use of twelve Anchorage homes each year.

This spring, the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) finalized its Climate Action Plan and it was adopted by the Anchorage Assembly in May. The installation of solar panels on MOA buildings, as well as implementing energy efficiency upgrades, are among the Municipal-led, priority actions for 2019. Solar panels are also scheduled to be installed at Fire Station 10 and at the Anchorage Regional Landfill.

To view the MOA’s Climate Action Plan, please visit www.muni.org/ClimateActionPlan.

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Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.

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