HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Powering a local youth center just got easier, and cleaner. The James A. Lane Boys & Girls Club cut the ribbon on an 18-kilowatt solar system installed beside the building on Abingdon Avenue Thursday.

Officials said the microgrid can power anything inside from kitchens to its gym to any of its HVAC systems.

“I remember in 2011 we had the major tornadoes and everybody was without power. So we’re in a type of community where if something like that would happen, we could open our doors and be a safe zone for the community and for our kids and parents. And so that’s what we’re about at the Boys & Girls Club,” North Alabama Chapter President Patrick Wynn said.

The company behind the gifted installation project is Wisconsin-based EnTech Solutions.

“Because we like to work in the communities that provide support for the communities and we just started working down here in January 2021. We wanted to immediately begin to contribute to the area,” EnTech analyst Mike Collom said.

Wynn said the microgrid’s solar panels will be the first to power a portion of a Boys & Girls Club anywhere in the country, adding it will also power inspiration for the 4300 youth who use the center annually.

“It’s huge for us,” Wynn said. “Anytime you’re in charge of a non-profit, finances (are) a burden at times. And so when you can provide something that’s going to allow you to save money and put more money into programming so you can have better outcomes for our kids, it’s second to none. Because what we’re about is producing positive citizens.”

Wynn also hopes to expand the solar power projects to be installed in other Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama locations in the coming years.

EnTech Solutions said the microgrid can reduce energy costs for James A. Lane building by up to $3,100 annually.