Town Partners on First Solar Farm

Cary, NC – Here’s an interesting item: the Town is partnering on its first renewable energy generation project. Better yet, it won’t cost tax payers a dime. In fact, we stand to make a tidy profit.

Town Partners on First Solar Farm

From Town of Cary:

This week, the Town of Cary and its solar contractor, FLS Energy, broke ground on the Town’s first renewable energy project and one of the largest solar system installations in the area. Located at the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility, 4900 West Lake Road, the completed system will have the capacity to generate 1.8 megawatts of electricity, or roughly enough energy to power 174 homes for a year. Construction is anticipated to be complete in late Fall 2012 and marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In addition to paying $35,000 annually to lease the land from the Town of Cary, all construction, maintenance and operations costs associated with the system will be paid for by FLS Energy.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with a leading industry firm as we work to expand our conservation efforts,” said Steve Brown, Director of Public Works & Utilities. “This project is just one more step closer to becoming a more sustainable town.”

While proposals from multiple firms were evaluated, the Town of Cary selected FLS Energy of Asheville, North Carolina, which has local experience developing solar projects in North Carolina, including installations at SAS and a similar rooftop project on the Green Square parking deck in Raleigh. FLS Energy has an established relationship with Progress Energy, the utility that will buy the energy generated by Cary’s solar system.

Once the solar panel system is operational, the Town and FLS Energy will explore other partnership opportunities at the Garmon Operations Center, Town Hall Campus, North Cary Water Reclamation Facility and the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility. During the 2011 legislative session, the Town of Cary pursued and was granted special authority from the North Carolina General Assembly to enter into leases of up to 20 years for the purposes of generating renewable energy.

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Photo by Mike Baker.

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