Progress Energy Carolinas has signed an agreement to purchase the output of a new 250‐kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array built by SunEnergy1 on the roof of Conrad Industries’ manufacturing facility in Weaverville, N.C. SunEnergy1 will own and operate the array, the largest of its kind in Western North Carolina. Progress Energy will purchase the entire output and use it to provide power to its customers.
This solar PV project is made possible by Progress Energy Carolinas’ SunSenseSM Commercial Solar PV program, which is designed to encourage the development of renewable energy by offering a premium price for solar power developed on commercial rooftops. Including small‐scale projects, Progress Energy has contracts for a total of more than 11 megawatts (11,000 kW) of solar power.
“We are committed to increasing the amount of solar power in our overall generation mix and are pleased to work with SunEnergy1 and Conrad Industries on this innovative project,” said John Smith, vice president of Progress Energy Carolinas’ Western Region. “We believe that solar power, along with energy efficiency and a state‐of‐the‐art power system, plays an important part of a balanced approach to meeting the challenges of growing energy demand and global climate change.”
The Weaverville solar PV array is scheduled to begin operation Nov. 1, and is expected to generate approximately 325,000 kilowatt‐hours of electricity this year. This is roughly the equivalent of the annual energy demand of 22 typical homes. The PV array will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 230 tons, which is equivalent to the reduction produced by drivers conserving 26,000 gallons of gasoline.
“SunEnergy1 is proud to be propelling the solar industry in North Carolina,” said Kenny Habul, chief executive officer of SunEnergy1. “It is our firm belief that the environment is in need of our support. We are dedicated to the growth of renewable energy. We are also proud to own and operate this system. We encourage other solar developers to invest in the industry by owning systems – rather than just installing. We would also encourage more businesses to take advantage of the Progress Energy SunSense program, and we would be happy to offer our support and expertise.”