News Release


DATE: June 10, 2003

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



The public library is a great place to get energized with new ideas. Now the library itself will be the beneficiary of some free energy.

Under direction from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, installation of cost-saving photo-voltaic (solar) panels is underway at the El Cajon Branch of the San Diego County Library.

"Our goal is to save taxpayer dollars by lowering the library's electric bills and do the environment a favor by using clean and renewable power," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. "In the long run, we hope that instead of paying the library's power bill, we'll have more money for library resources," Jacob said.

Following the energy crisis during the Summer of 2001, the Board has been pursuing both immediate and long range energy conservation policies. In May 2001, the Board authorized participation in a $2 million loan program from the California Energy Commission for the placement of the panels on the roofs of four County facilities, as a first stage in a long term program for the generation of energy from renewable sources and the promise of energy cost savings.

The "high profile project," which places panels on the roof, allows real time monitoring of the amount of electricity generated.

The photo-voltaic devices are designed to supplement energy from SDG&E during peak demand periods. Over time the panels are anticipated to reduce costs substantially, with sunny summer months bringing the greatest savings.

According to Department of General Services Director, Ron Hicks, a meter in the public area of the library will show what proportion of energy is being generated from the solar panels at any given time.

The other strategically placed County sites where the solar panels will be installed this summer are the South Bay Regional Center in Chula Vista, the North County Regional Center in Vista, and the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa. These sites were chosen because they have nearly new flat roofs and are located inland where the solar benefit can be maximized.