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Raleigh's Convention Center roof soon to be site for a solar farm

Posted February 3, 2012

Raleigh Convention Center
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— The roof of the massive Convention Center in downtown Raleigh will soon be the home of a farm – solar farm, that is.

Construction is underway on the complex of solar panels that will cover 60 percent of the massive building’s roof. It’s expected the “farm” will produce 500 kilowatts of power.

Progress Energy will buy the power when the project goes on line in April. It includes 2,080 panels.

Private firms FLS Energy and PowerWorks have deisgned, will build, operate and own the farm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The City of Raleigh already has 10 other solar energy systems.

The Civic Center itself is certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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  • piene2 Feb 3, 2012

    "Despite all of your negative thoughts and comments about this project, I would desperately like to be able to generate enough power to run my home independent of Duke Power, Progress Energy, CP&L, etc. (Whether this means wind turbines, solar panels, or any other alternative energy source.)

    Whatever your believe, the project on the roof of the Convention Center will bring me closer to creating my own power required for my home. When that day comes, I will be a happy man!!!
    mhester803"

    My stepson, in upstate NY has a couple of windmills and some solar panels. It will of course, be many years before he recoups his investment but he has the satisfaction of of, instead of paying monthly bills to Niagara Mohawk Power, gets a monthly check from them for the electricity he doesn't need. Of course there are also some good tax breaks and he did receive a grant to cover some of the construction.

    Look into grants and tax breaks and go for it!

  • piene2 Feb 3, 2012

    "There is no justification for the negative comments. The world is using fossil fuels at an rapidly increasing unsustainable rate. For survival, we must find alternatives. As it is, the U.S. is playing catch up with other developed countries. The naysayers should visit other countries and see just how we are not progressive in many matters - transportation, recycling, energy conservation..... It is a shame we don't have the guts to lead in these areas, doing so would create the new economy that is needed.
    2thec"

    You must understand that people such as those making negative comments despite having no real grasp of the situation are those that care about nothing and no one but the here and now and themselves. Like hogs at the trough they stuff themselves with every creature comfort no matter how damaging it is to the environment. They know that the oil will last their lifetimes and that's all they care about. They are the worst of our society.

  • ncspamfish Feb 3, 2012

    hmmmm.......no mention of the cost to do solar. financial terms were not disclosed. oversight? coverup? or?????

    and something i ve always been concerned about in putting solar on a residential roof.........how does one deal with leaks......either immediate or longer term??

  • Ernest B. Feb 3, 2012

    Sounds great to me.

  • LovemyPirates Feb 3, 2012

    There is no justification for the negative comments. The world is using fossil fuels at an rapidly increasing unsustainable rate. For survival, we must find alternatives. As it is, the U.S. is playing catch up with other developed countries. The naysayers should visit other countries and see just how we are not progressive in many matters - transportation, recycling, energy conservation..... It is a shame we don't have the guts to lead in these areas, doing so would create the new economy that is needed.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Feb 3, 2012

    Sounds like Raleigh may not be paying for this at all. Maybe they are donating the space, maybe they are getting rent. It seems like a great use of otherwise wasted space.

  • dwntwnboy Feb 3, 2012

    Just like with any technology- the first ones to have it will pay more, but as the technology becomes cheaper and more user friendly the price drops- look at DVD and RCR devices. I'm sure the very first cars were VERY expensive and people thought that only the rich could have them, but as we've seen, it can be done cheaper for the masses. Have to start somewhere and that's where we are, the "somewhere" to start. It should have all started in the 70s but we dropped the ball- we could be 40 years further down the road technically speaking if the effort and money had been put into alternate energy sources when we had the gas lines 40 years ago.

  • bigal02282 Feb 3, 2012

    Progress energy, like every other energy firm in the US, is looking for ways to bring green energy online as they will be required to provide a percentage of their power sold to the consumer from green sources. There are many many solar farms being built to this end. These are all private enterprise building these farms and will make a profit selling to energy companies. There is a 40 acre farm planned just down the road from me, along with one which is going online to provide all of the power to a local processing facility with the overage being sold to Progress. For all of the naysayers of green energy, the market is doing what SHOULD have been done since the 1970's when Solar was first marketed as a way to wean us off of foreign oil. Of course Big oil came back hard on that one. But we will get there anyway. Just one small project at a time.

  • mhester803 Feb 3, 2012

    Despite all of your negative thoughts and comments about this project, I would desperately like to be able to generate enough power to run my home independent of Duke Power, Progress Energy, CP&L, etc. (Whether this means wind turbines, solar panels, or any other alternative energy source.)

    Whatever your believe, the project on the roof of the Convention Center will bring me closer to creating my own power required for my home. When that day comes, I will be a happy man!!!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Feb 3, 2012

    I understand the comment made by pedsrndad. Its the same for any 'new' energy source or energy saving device. Most of the time, there isn't a monetary saving. Its more of a resource saving, that winds up costing more money. Companies and governments that have a lot of money to throw into these ideas are the only ones that can honestly eat the costs. It doesn't make financial sense for private citizens to use resource-saving devices. At best, you would break even financially. But in most cases, you don't. The same is true for various heating sources, electric automobiles, etc. The new resource-saving devices cost a tremendous amount in upkeep if they are utilized as long as traditional energy sources.

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