Progress Energy, Raleigh to partner for solar power plant

Posted July 7, 2009
Updated July 26, 2009

— A consortium of three North Carolina companies and the City of Raleigh is planning to build a solar power plant that would provide enough electricity for some 1,000 homes.

Progress Energy Carolinas, Raleigh, Southern Energy and NxGen Power disclosed their plans Tuesday. Southern Energy is based in Morrisville. NxGen, which will provide project financing to Southern Energy, is based in Charlotte.

The project is expected to create some 15 jobs.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Progress Energy will own and operate the plant, which is the fifth one it has announced under North Carolina law that mandates use of renewable energy resources. Progress is committed to building 5 megawatts of power with those plants.

State law requires Progress and other utilities to begin producing power from renewable sources. Progress Energy is exploring solar, wind, biowaste and other options to produce power from renewable sources. By 2012, companies have to get 3.5 percent of all retail sales from so-called renewables. The requirement jumps to 12.5 percent by 2021.

Duke Energy is also involved in numerous solar and wind projects.

The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday agreed to lease 10 acres of land for the plant at the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“We are committed to aggressively and responsibly pursuing renewable energy resources, such as solar power, as part of a balanced approach to meeting our region’s growing energy demand,” said Progress Energy Carolinas President Lloyd Yates in a statement.

Final terms on the lease are yet to be negotiated. The city is not required to invest any money in the project, according to the agreement.


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  • drjones74 Jul 8, 2009

    Actually Mr Reaper that is $250,000 per MONTH (assuming a 250 monthly bill) which is $3,000,000 per YEAR. If you yokels would take a math class instead of listening to Rush all the time, then maybe we could move on to discussing things like present worth and opportunity cost of these projects in future global economic terms...

  • ncwebguy Jul 8, 2009

    I know Fox "News" and Rush didn't tell you, but the government is ALREADY giving tax credits to individuals who are reducing their energy demands. If you knew that, you wouldn't be angry, but then they couldn't sell ad time, so they prefer to just lie their audience to keep them angry.

    There is a lot of unused/unusable land at the wastewater treatment plant, so why not use that as a solar collector?

    grimreaper is wrong and highlights why green power opponents don't know what they are talking about.

    1. The solar farm isn't going to work for one year and then fail. It will work year after year, and require little to no maintenance.

    2. Energy collection/delivery, and battery storage technologies improve with this kind of investment and deployment, and economies of scale. Do we still pay $1000 for microwaves and VCRs? No.

    The people who want to maintain the status quo want to crush alternatives thorugh fear, uncertantiy and doubt.

    We deserve better.

  • veyor Jul 8, 2009

    "Financial terms were not disclosed". Hahahahahaha

  • Shelden Jul 8, 2009

    I can't believe they are taking so long to do this. I built my own small setup that saves me 30 kW in my back yard for just a few hundred dollars. As one poster said I am saving money by paying the electric company less and less in taxes (not to mention the tax credits I will get).

  • gluepot Jul 8, 2009

    you clowns are soooo right. We shouldn't even try!!!!!

  • Kidw4legs stops in Jul 8, 2009

    Preposterous, but to the Kool Aid Brigade - it sounds wonderful!

    Note that there is no mention of the *cost* to build this setup, nor the number of kilowatts to be produced. When compared to nuclear, regarding cleanliness and cost of production, this is truly going around the elbow to get to the thumb.

    It would make SO much more SENSE to provide worthwhile credits to citizens to install their own solar setups, and those who *could* afford the initial outlay, would lessen the demand on traditional power plants.

    But that might mean less taxes for the government to collect, and we CAN'T HAVE THAT, NOW CAN WE?

    REMEMBER: You pay taxes on your energy bill, so when the cost of that energy goes up, so does the amount of tax you send to the dipsticks!

  • noreplytome2 Jul 7, 2009

    Grimreaper has it spelled out. Politicians sure make it sound good on paper, at least. It's a shame they don't bother to think, or research, ideas before passing the burden on down to the little man.

  • mjeffrey Jul 7, 2009

    this is an interesting idea that progress has, although it is true that one plant wont do much, it could be a sort of proof of concept for the area.
    an idea that could have a wider impact is the idea where if a house has solar panels or wind power on the roof and these implements create more power than the house uses, then the power company pays the customer for the power going back onto the grid. many houses with small solar panels on the roofs in large numbers could greatly reduce stress on the power grid.

    P.S. I could care less what any HOA could have to say about solar panels.

  • affirmativediversity Jul 7, 2009

    What a complete waste of money! Of course it will be the consumer who will ultimately have to pay for this folly!

    I'm sure Al Gore is laughing all the way to the bank...WHAT A SCAM!

  • friendlyman Jul 7, 2009

    grimreaper speaks the truth, wind and solar are not a reliable source of power, and there is no technology for storing it up, so they can't be relied on to supply a power grid. I'm guessing all the people that think 'green' energy is so great won't think its so great when they start having brownouts whenever the sun goes behind a cloud or the wind dies down :)