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ATLANTA –The Atlanta City Council voted Monday to purchase and install solar panels on the BeltLine’s Westside Trail at Aluma Farm, the trail’s first agriculture site around the 22-mile corridor.
“Solar power is both cost-effective and efficient. I’m very excited about having these panels installed along the BeltLine,” said Councilmember Joyce Shepherd. “Among other roles, these panels will create power for refrigeration. Renewable energy is the future and it’s time for us to use the ultimate energy source-the sun-to our advantage.”
The panels will be installed by Sept. 30 and generate 2.8 kilowatts of solar energy using photovoltaic panels. Aluma Farm will be totally “off-grid” and not pull power from the BeltLine’s main public utility provider. A nearby dashboard will provide real time updates on energy usage.
The Georgia Environmental Financing Authority (GEFA) offered the City of Atlanta a rebate on the panels, which covers up to 50 percent or $50,000 of the cost of materials, design and installation.
The Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail is a 3-mile multi-use corridor that spans from University Avenue to Washington Park in southwest Atlanta. Scheduled to open in late summer, it includes Aluma farm, a 14-foot wide multi-use trail, 40 acres of greenway, and easy access to MARTA bus and train stations.