PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Portland's famed Powell's Books is going solar.

In December 2008, the company will begin harnessing the suns power with one of the largest solar electric installations in the State of Oregon.

It will include a roof-mounted 100-kilowatt photovoltaic system that will provide approximately 110,900 kWh per year or about a quarter of the building's annual electricity consumption

The Portland bookstore has been called Oregon's second-largest retail attraction, behind only the Tillamook Cheese Factory. The bookstore covers a city block containing multiple, connected buildings.

Meantime, Powell's may also get a facelift if the economy allows.

Bruce Guenther, chief curator of the Portland Art Museum, told the Portland Design Commission he liked the idea. Officials will revisit the proposal after reviewing next year's budget at the start of the new year.


The project would include a three-level entrance, renovations and interior remodels of the other existing buildings. The new building would have a green roof, designed to capture rainwater to irrigate the roof garden.

"We consider (the current) building as a vanilla wrapper and when you open it you find something delightful," she said. "This is a more exhibitionist building. As a business, we're excited about it."

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