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Washington and Lee's new solar system operational

Tuesday - 1/17/2012, 11:03am  ET

LEXINGTON, Va. - Washington and Lee University is now getting some of its electricity from a new solar power system.

Facilities and energy management director Scott Beebe says the system went online in late December. It's expected to provide about 3 percent of the university's electricity needs.

Staunton-based Secure Futures installed 1,016 photovoltaic solar panels atop the roof of the law school building. Another 535 panels were installed on a canopy over the upper deck of the parking garage.

Combined, the arrays can produce 450 kilowatts. That's enough electricity to supply 44 homes in Lexington.

Beebe said Tuesday in a news release that the solar arrays are working as expected.

Secure Futures owns and operates the system. Washington and Lee will buy the electricity at a fixed rate for the next 20 years.

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