Archive for April 5th, 2012

New Bern solar project harnesses the sun’s energy from warehouse rooftop

Posted on: April 5th, 2012 by shannon No Comments


ESA Renewables completes 1.26-megawatt solar power plant, Eastern North Carolina’s largest


New Bern, N.C. (April 5, 2012) – Eastern North Carolina’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) array is online and generating electricity from atop a massive rooftop in New Bern. The 1.26-megawatt (MW) solar PV array was built and will be operated by ESA Renewables, LLC, and Progress Energy Carolinas will purchase the electricity it generates to serve the utility’s customers.

This solar PV project is part of the utility’s plan to meet the requirements of North Carolina’s renewable portfolio standard. Progress Energy has more than 240 MWs of renewable energy under contract in North Carolina to help meet the requirements of this law, including solar, biofuels, landfill methane and other technologies.

“We remain committed to responsibly pursuing renewable energy resources, and we are pleased that our portfolio of solar projects continues to expand,” said Lloyd Yates, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Carolinas. “Projects such as this, coupled with our aggressive energy-efficiency programs and advanced generation facilities, will provide the clean, reliable, affordable power our customers rely on us to provide. We are proud to partner with ESA on this innovative project.”

The New Bern solar array will generate about 1.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,000 tons annually. This is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from about 200 vehicles.  The expected annual energy output equals the annual energy usage of about 100 typical households.

“ESA is excited to have one of Progress Energy Carolinas’ largest installations in the east under our belt,” says ESA President Jeffrey Burkett. “We are ready to see what 2012 will hold for ESA and we will continue to bring solar to the communities of North Carolina and all around the United States.”

Using Poly-crystalline Canadian Solar modules, the array will cover approximately 177,160 square feet of the roof area, becoming one of Progress Energy Carolinas largest installations in the east to date, including ground mounted systems. ESA will operate and maintain the system for the duration of the contract with Progress Energy Carolinas. Included in the operation and maintenance contract is ESA’s own proprietary monitoring system, which was developed in house. The monitoring system is an effective, preventative, and corrective maintenance system that helps monitor the plant with real time data and alerts.

About ESA Renewables, LLC
ESA Renewables has positioned itself as a leader in the industry providing turnkey solar PV systems globally. ESA owns and operates a diverse portfolio of more than 500 solar PV power generating facilities located in the United States, Puerto Rico, Spain and Italy. ESA’s scope of services includes financing, engineering, construction, testing and operation and maintenance. With headquarters in Castellon Spain, ESA has additional offices in Florida, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Chile and Italy. For more information about ESA Renewables, LLC, please visit or call 407-268-6455.

About Progress Energy
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with 23,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $9 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute’s Edison Award, the industry’s highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder’s Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at

Alternative Energy System Providing Power at N.C. State Marine Aquaculture Research Center

Posted on: April 5th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

SMYRNA, N.C. – The “green” light was given this week when a newly constructed, alternative energy system passed its final electrical inspection at N.C. State University’s Marine Aquaculture Research Center (MARC) in Smyrna, N.C..  A demonstration hybrid photovoltaic (solar)-wind system will power pumps, as well as heat and cool water for application to the state’s growing aquaculture industry. In 2011, N.C. State University’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST) was awarded $253,501 in funding for the project, part of a $4.6 million Green Business Fund Award granted through the N.C. Department of Commerce, as well as an additional $37, 000 from private donors.

The hybrid system consists of a 10 kW Wind Turbine that stands about 90 feet tall and a 10 kW Solar Array, using 40 separate solar panels each generating approximately 240 watts. Computerized data logging systems will record the amount of electricity generation from wind versus solar. Projected energy generation is 21,500 kilowatt hours of the 100,000 kWh annual demand, which will be used to offset the nearly $2,300 per year in electricity costs at the Carteret County facility.

CMAST Director David Eggleston commented, “The objective of this project is to determine the degree to which solar, wind or a solar-wind hybrid power system can produce electricity and reduce costs associated with marine aquaculture operations. When combined with emerging technology on treating aquaculture waste effluent, the results from this study will enhance net profits and environmental sustainability of aquaculture operations in coastal environments, which is important to the development of a globally competitive U.S. aquaculture industry. This project will also serve as a case study for other businesses in the region interested in generating a portion of their electricity from renewable energy sources.”

The N.C. State MARC facility was constructed in 2010 to study saltwater aquaculture, which currently lags behind freshwater aquaculture in terms of research and technology transfer. One technology project being tested at MARC is a unique, flowing seawater system, which takes in water from a nearby creek, cleans it for laboratory use and treats it again before being returned to the creek without causing any adverse impact on the environment. The additional alternative energy technology geared for such facilities adds an extra opportunity for aquaculture farm success.

Construction of the 90-foot turbine tower required a variance from the Carteret County Board of Commissioners, as the structure is taller than the 75-foot maximum allowed for wind turbines in the county. Now functioning, the turbine at full speed produces very little sound and disruption to the area. CMAST, in collaboration with the N.C. Solar Center, contracted Hart Power Solutions from Kill Devil Hills, N.C. to construct the system, which was completed within two weeks and used materials and equipment made in the United States.


Contact:             Dr. David Eggleston, Director

919-515-7840, 252-222-6301,