For the first time since the White Tank Branch Library & Nature Center opened to the public in November 2010, solar energy generated onsite has been sent to the electrical grid for use by Arizona Public Service customers.

According to APS officials, about 320 kilowatt-hours of electricity more than needed was produced at the White Tank branch in February, resulting in the excess being credited to the facility’s electricity account. The excess electricity was directed onto APS’s electric grid system for use by other customers.

One full day’s worth of energy production for the 29,000-square-foot White Tank structure is approximately 320 kilowatt hours.

“We are excited about this development,” said Maricopa County Supervisor Max Wilson, whose district includes the Sun Cities. “One of our goals was to build and operate a public space that makes use of green technology to benefit our customers and the community. White Tank’s environmentally astute infrastructure coupled with its energy-saving practices are providing the efficiency and pay-off we had hoped for.”

The 228 rooftop-mounted solar panels produce about 25 percent of the facility’s annual energy needs, officials said. With the purchase of renewable energy certificates, 100 percent of energy brought to the site is Green-e certified. As a result, the building enjoys a net-zero pollution rating.

White Tank Branch Library & Nature Center is the gateway to the 30,000-acre White Tank Mountain Regional Park.

For more information about the library and the Maricopa County Library District, visit www.mcldaz.org.

For more information about the Maricopa County’s regional park system, visit www.maricopa.gov/parks.

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