PNNL puts finishing touches on it's first solar panel project - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

PNNL puts finishing touches on it's first solar panel project

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Even on a cloudy day, sunlight be a renewable power source at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The research lab is putting the finishing touches on a solar panel project that will produce enough electricity to power about 16 homes each year.  But instead of homes, the electricity will be used by scientists at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a Department of Energy facility at PNNL.

The photovoltaic project consists of 528 silicon panels that generate 126 kilowatts of electricity all together.  The project is part of the lab's effort to be more sustainable.  The power generated by the solar panels will decrease the amount of electricity PNNL must buy from the electric grid.

Also, solar panels will provide power to 12 electric vehicle charging stations installed as part of the project.  The stations will be used to charge the lab's fleet and research vehicles.

The $1.6 million project was paid for by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

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