North Carolina companies collaborate for first large-scale solar energy project

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Three North Carolina companies have come together to purchase, build, own and operate a former landfill for a large-scale solar energy project in the western part of the state. Progress Energy Carolinas signed an agreement with FLS Energy to purchase the output from a 1 MW solar power plant on the former landfill site that is owned by Evergreen Packaging, Incorporated. FLS will build, own and operate the solar PV project and sell the energy produced back to the utility so that it can be distributed to its customers.

Robert Sipes, Vice President for Progress Energy Carolinas’ Western N.C. Region commented, “This is the third megawatt-sized solar project we have signed this year. It combines an important emerging technology with an outstanding location, and we’re pleased to be part of it. We’re pursuing technology, partnerships and other agreements to expand the use of renewable energy in North Carolina. Innovative projects such as this one will be critical in meeting our state’s objectives for renewable energy in the future.”

The FLS Energy solar plant will include 3,288 PV panels installed on approximately 7 acres of the former landfill. Evergreen Packaging will lease the land to FLS for 20 years with the project expected to start producing electricity in spring 2009. The plant is anticipated to produce more than 1.6 million KW hours of electricity over the course of one year. Progress Energy will be investigating battery storage technology so that solar power generated when the sun is shining can be stored and used at other needed times.

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