Albany Dougherty Economic Development President Ted Clem, right, and Vice-President of Business Development Justin Strickland, look at the solar panels recently installed on the roof of the Albany-Area Chamber of Commerce.
ALBANY Local economic development officials have mixed new, innovative and green technology with one of the city's oldest and most recognizable downtown buildings to set an example of how businesses can not only be environmentally friendly, but use Georgia businesses in the process.
The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, in conjunction with the Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, have installed a 5kW solar panel system on the rooftop of the Chamber building.
The 22 solar modules will have an annual output nearly equal to offset an average-size home's footprint.
Justin Strickland, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission's Vice-President for Business Development, said that the panels will meet about 10-15 percent of the building's electricity needs during the year.
"We hope it shows a great partnership between the EDC, the chamber and WG&L, and that we can do innovative things and hopefully set an example for other businesses in town," Strickland said.
The systems were funded in part through a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Costs not covered by the grant were covered by WG&L.
EDC President Ted Clem said that with Albany's weather, solar panels are a viable option for helping reduce energy cost and carbon footprints.
"Albany has 224 sunny days per year, compared to a national average of 205 days, making it an ideal location for solar energy production, said Ted Clem, president of the EDC.
Strickland said that the EDC used solar panels manufactured by a Georgia company and hired an Atlanta-based solar panel installer to put the panels on the building.