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Posted: April 21, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Earth Day: First Solar Power being generated in Covington

Solar Power is now being generated in Covington for the first time in the city’s history, just in time for Earth Day.

Photovoltaic panels were installed on the roofs of The Center for Community Preservation and Planning and on two buildings in Clark’s Grove last week. Panels have yet to be installed on the Montessori School of Covington and on the pergola at the Clark’s Grove pool.

The solar installation project is a joint venture between Clark’s Grove property owners and the private company Hannah Solar. The owners received a $250,000 grant, from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, but each owner had to provide some matching funds, so the total solar investment will be around $340,000. About 88 percent of the money will go toward equipment and the rest will pay for installation. Solar photovoltaic panels will be installed on a total of five buildings

Solar power is being generated but the monitoring equipment has not yet been installed, said property owner Randy Vinson.

Hannah Solar CEO Pete Marne said his company will install about 175 panels in all, about 35 on each building, which will produce a total of 43 kilowatts of electricity. Marne said the panels will replace about 15 to 20 percent of the traditional electricity usage by those buildings.

The solar panels are a natural fit for Clark’s Grove, which was originally designed as a sustainable and energy-efficient community.

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