Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy
The City of Raleigh is focused on conserving energy and implementing renewable energy strategies that will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. The City Council has set specific goals to address our municipal energy use that will also help us save money. Learn more about what we are doing and the programs and policies we have in place.
Harnessing the Sun
The City of Raleigh is harnessing the sun's energy at its treatment plants.
The E. M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant is home to one of the state's largest rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays. Carolina Solar Energy built the 250-kilowatt (kW) and is selling its output to Progress Energy Carolinas for distribution to its customers. This solar PV array is the first in the Southeast to use First Solar's thin-film PV technology, which allows the panels to generate electricity for longer periods during the day. It began operating December 31, 2009 and is expected to generate approximately 325,000 kilowatt-hours this year - roughly equal to 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 conserving 26,000 gallons of gasoline.
The Neuse River Waste Water Treatment Plant will be home to an even larger solar PV array in the fall of 2010. The solar PV array will generate approximately 1.7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,300 tons annually. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from the use of about 140,000 gallons of gasoline.
Cree, Inc. has helped to make the City of Raleigh the "First LED City in the World" through the use of new light fixtures using a new energy-efficient lighting technology called light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Throughout Raleigh, various examples of LED can be seen including parking garage lights, light fixtures at the Raleigh City Plaza downtown, and the shimmer wall on the Convention Center. The LEDs at 40 different City facilities created a carbon dioxide offset of 1,210 tons in 2009, equivalent to erasing the annual carbon dioxide output of 211 cars. It also offsets the annual electricity consumption of 592 households.