PORT ORCHARD — The Manchester Library is already reaping the rewards from a $32,040 grant given by Puget Sound Energy for solar panels that now sit atop a new addition to the building.
Eric Cisney, president of the nonprofit Friends of the Manchester Library (FOML), said the 8.75-kilowatt solar panel system has so far saved more than $200 in electrical power and any pollution that would have been generated by the production of the excess electricity.
FOML, which owns and operates the library building, holds fundraisers throughout the year to support its maintenance. The Kitsap Regional Library system provides staffing, library materials and supports library programs.
John Winslow, secretary of the organization, said the 8.75-kilott solar panels is expected to produce about 60% of the electrical power needed by the library.
“I’m able to monitor the system with an app on my phone. No matter where I am, I can see how the panels are performing and appreciate all that the panels are doing to reduce our environmental footprint in Manchester,” Winslow said.
The library’s children’s librarian, Nell Ramsay, has undertaken a project to help educate the younger patrons about the benefits of solar power. Ramsay produced a display to operate the lights inside the library. To reinforce the concepts, Ramsay also created a solar power scavenger hunt to allow budding young scientists to identify the components of the solar array and win a prize.
FOML is in the process of adding 900 square feet to the library building, which will provide additional library services to the community, Winslow said. The group continues to fundraise for that effort and is seeking donations. Cisney, who also is the construction project leader, can be reached at Ecisney8@gmail.com for more information.