Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
The City of Raleigh works to promote emerging technologies, create new job opportunities and cultivate local businesses and entrepreneurs. Renewable energy initiatives address all of these issues at once.
Renewable energy can be defined as any clean, naturally occurring or theoretically inexhaustible source of energy, such as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave, and hydroelectric power not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel. These alternative energies add to Raleigh's energy security and can save the City money over time.
The City of Raleigh is also committed to conserving energy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, equating to real dollar savings for our citizens; select projects are highlighted below.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) collects the suns rays and turns it into electricity. This process is made possible through the production of free electrons when the solar PV panels are exposed to light; these free electrons are channeled to create an electrical current.View Solar Photovoltaic Projects
Solar thermal energy (STE) is the process of concentrating sunlight to create high temperatures needed to heat or vaporize fluids, such as water, to drive a turbine for electric power generation.View Solar Thermal Projects
Geothermal ground-source heat pumps use the earth or groundwater as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer. The heat pump is a device which moves heat from one place to another, transferring heat from the soil to the facility in winter and from the facility to the soil in summer.View Geothermal Projects
Methane recovery is a process the City has employed for many years. The Wilders Grove Landfill has been collecting, and selling, landfill gas (LFG) since 1989 for use in energy recovering and flaring systems as required under U.S. EPA's New Source Performance Standards.View Wilders Grove Landfill Methane Recovery
The City actively encourages the use of alternative fuel vehicles. Biofuels help reduce automobile emissions, promote domestic energy production, improve air quality and help decrease fuel costs.View Biofuel Projects
Light Emitting Diodes (also known as LEDs) represent an emerging solid-state technology revolutionizing lighting. The LED Streetlight Pilot Project replaced traditional street lighting with high-efficiency LED lights. After the successful pilot, Raleigh began replacing approximately 30,000 conventional lights in fall 2015.
The addition of solar panels allows the fixtures to collect the sun's energy during the day and power the lights at night, reducing energy costs and saving the city money.
Sustainable Municipal Buildings
The City of Raleigh is working to lower its carbon footprint by initiating sustainable building practices. The City requires LEED Silver standards for new municipal buildings over 10,000 square feet and is prioritizing energy efficiency improvements to existing City buildings.
The City of Raleigh has completed energy audits on numerous City facilities. These audits identify energy saving initiatives that if implemented can save energy and taxpayer dollars. Energy audits were completed through an Environmental Defense Fund Project at a number of the fire stations and One Exchange Plaza. Through a separate initiative, energy audits were conducted at numerous Community Centers.