Independent Power is proud to announce the completion of an 11.455 kilowatt (kW) commercial solar array on the roof of the Red Lodge Carnegie Library, just in time for its centennial year in 2020. The Red Lodge Carnegie solar project, also known as Library SunPower, resulted in the installation of (29) high-efficiency SunPower SPR-P19-395-COM solar panels on the roof of the historic building. Together, the panels are projected to offset 65% of the Library’s electricity usage and will save the City roughly $1,500 annually on energy bills. The system is estimated to produce 14,074 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. Real-time production numbers can be viewed via an educational display in the Library.
Prior to the installation of the solar array, the Library underwent a variety of energy efficiency upgrades, including the installation of all LED lighting, programmable thermostats, and occupancy sensors. As a result, these upgrades reduced the Library’s electrical usage and allowed the installation of a smaller, less expensive commercial solar power system.
The Library was awarded $24,377 in funding through the NorthWestern Energy E+ Renewable Energy Program for nonprofits and civic buildings, which covered 90% of the total project cost. The remaining investment came from community fundraising campaigns and a $1,000 Community Grantmaking award from the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation.