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Progress Energy Carolinas, SunEdison Plan New Solar Project

A PV array is a collection of solar cells, each consisting of two thin layers of semi-conducting material (silicon) that generate electricity when exposed to sunlight.
by Staff Writers
Wilmington NC (SPX) Aug 26, 2008
Progress Energy Carolinas and SunEdison have signed an agreement under which SunEdison will build, own and operate a 1.2-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant on the site of the Progress Energy L.V. Sutton Plant near Wilmington and sell the energy produced to the utility for distribution to customers.

SunEdison will build the solar PV array on about 10 acres at the existing power plant site, located off Highway 421. Progress Energy will lease the land to SunEdison for 20 years, the term of the power-purchase agreement.

The plant is the second megawatt-sized solar project announced this summer. In June, software company SAS announced it will build a 1-MW solar PV array at its Cary, N.C., campus and sell the output under a long-term contract to Progress Energy Carolinas.

Both announced projects are expected to be producing electricity by late this year. Meanwhile, the company is evaluating additional renewable energy projects, as well as potential opportunities related to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and other energy technologies.

"Solar power is an important part of our balanced energy strategy for meeting the region's needs," said Lloyd Yates, CEO and president of Progress Energy Carolinas.

"We are continuing to pursue cost-effective solar and other renewable opportunities aggressively, and we expect to announce additional renewable energy investments soon. Meanwhile, we're promoting increased energy efficiency and working to ensure that we have state-of-the-art power plants and infrastructure. We will continue to look for new, innovative ways to help meet our customers' needs reliably, affordably and in an environmentally sound manner."

SunEdison proposed the latest solar PV project in response to Progress Energy's request for renewable energy proposals, issued in November. The open-ended request is part of Progress Energy's plan to meet the requirements of North Carolina's energy law, passed in 2007.

The law established a renewable and energy-efficiency portfolio standard, which requires utilities to provide a portion of their energy sales using renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

For Progress Energy, that portion grows from 3 percent of total energy sales in 2012 to 12.5 percent in 2021. For solar-generated energy, the requirement begins in 2010. Under the two existing PV contracts, Progress Energy expects to begin purchasing solar-generated electricity this year.

A PV array is a collection of solar cells, each consisting of two thin layers of semi-conducting material (silicon) that generate electricity when exposed to sunlight.

The Sutton Plant is an integral part of Progress Energy's system for meeting the needs of its customers throughout eastern North Carolina. The solar PV generation will add to Progress Energy's mix of resources, which includes nuclear plants as well as generation fueled by coal, oil and natural gas, and hydroelectric plants.

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Scientists Work To Convert Sunlight To Cheaper Energy
Brookings SD (SPX) Aug 26, 2008
Scientists work to convert sunlight to cheaper electricity at South Dakota State University. Research scientists are working with new materials that can make devices used for converting sunlight to electricity cheaper and more efficiently.

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