Municipality of Anchorage Unveils Alaska’s Largest Rooftop Solar Array
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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Out of the Mine and into the Smelter
Mining has long been a key fixture of Alaska’s economy. On a small scale, people flock to the 49th state to tour different operations. Kennecott Mine was once a booming copper mining site and is now a National Historic Landmark, attracting tourists eager to visit the ghost town and get a feel of the Gold Rush era it once dominated.