A large solar energy project in Southwest Virginia is nearing completion at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem. The $5 million project is part of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs initiative to rely more on solar energy at veterans hospitals across the country. The Roanoke Times reports that 6,000 solar panels are being installed on what used to be a landfill at the eastern edge of the hospital campus. The panels will convert sunlight into as much as 1,620 kilowatts of electricity. That’s enough to provide about 10 percent of the power to the sprawling complex. Officials expect the system to be operational by early November. The project is expected to save about $160,000 at the campus that includes more than 20 buildings.