The City of Raleigh has started to build a 500-kilowatt solar energy system at the Raleigh Convention Center. This will be the City’s largest urban solar energy system and is scheduled to be completed in April.
The Convention Center’s solar energy system consists of 2080 photovoltaic panels covering about 60 percent of the convention center’s roof and will produce an estimated 725,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. That will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 500 tons annually, the equivalent of about 100 cars. The City has 10 other solar energy systems with a capacity of more than 2.15 megawatts.
FLS Energy and PowerWorks will finance, engineer, build, own and operate the solar system. Progress Energy will buy the electricity through its SunSense Commercial Solar PV program and use it to serve its customers. PowerWorks and FLS Energy are leasing the Convention Center rooftop space from the City to operate the solar array.
The Raleigh Convention Center achieved a silver certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is one of only seven convention centers in the country to have achieved any level of certification in the LEED rating system.