Carilion NRV Medical Center closer to using solar power

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MONTGOMERY CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A Montgomery County hospital is working to harness the power of the sun.

The Carilion New River Valley Medical Center just finalized plans to install solar panels on its property.

About 43 hundred solar panels are now on site in one of the largest projects of its kind in Virginia.

It was announced almost two years ago and took longer to begin because hospital staff say there wasn't a zoning ordinance that addressed projects like this. The results are worth the wait.

"There's an economic benefit for the reduction of fossil fuels but it's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do for our community, it's the right thing to do for the environment, and really for the nation," said Scott Blankenship, the facility support director for Carilion.

The project is expected to be finished by early fall and will generate about 20 percent of the building's power.