Progress Energy, Raleigh to partner for solar power plant

Morrisville-based Southern Energy, NxGen Power in Charlotte will build facility on city property at wastewater treatment plant. At 1.3 megawatts, plant would power approximately 1,000 homes.

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Progress, Raleigh partner on solar project
RALEIGH, N.C. — 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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