Crews Begin Work To Install Solar Panels on Christa McAuliffe Branch Library

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FRAMINGHAM – Crews began work last week to install solar panels at the Christa McAuliffe Library branch on Water Street in the Nobscot section of the City.

City of Framingham Sustainability Coordinator Shawn Luz last year said the the solar project at the McAuliffe Library is a roof-mounted solar energy project that is currently projected to produce approximately 85,000 kWh per year. Most, if not all, of the electricity will be utilized on-site as opposed to going back to the grid

Constructed in 2016, the McAuliffe library branch is currently LEED-certified and rated as a Silver Level building.

The project was approved by the Framingham Board of Library Trustees and the Framingham City Council.

City of Framingham tapped Hopkinton-based Solect Energy through the PowerOptions Program, an energy-buying consortium that operates a solar program available to municipalities, to oversee the project.

Luz told the City Council that the project will save the City of Framingham more than $100,000 during the life of a 20-year contract, with no upfront costs.

“We were excited by the project,” said Library Director Lena Kilburn said, said in July 2020 to SOURCE “We wanted to make sure that we worked well with the city and the schools. As far as an environmental perspective, it is a fantastic addition to the building”.

The Library Director said investing in green energy relates scientific and educational to the library’s namesake – Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, the first teacher in space, who tragically died on board the space shuttle Challenger. McAuliffe, a Marian High and Framingham State graduate, grew up in Framingham.

Kilburn told the SOURCE in summer of 2020 she wanted to use the solar panels to introduce children to green energy.

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