Progress Energy today announced its sixth and biggest solar energy contract to date, a solar farm to be built in Laurinburg, about 100 miles southwest of Raleigh.
The solar farm will generate 2.3 megawatts of electricity, about twice as much power as the biggest solar farm that currently supplies power to Progress Energy and is located near Wilmington.
It's expected to start generating electricity within six months. But the project still requires approval by Laurinburg's planning board and city council.
The Laurinburg project will bring the total solar power capacity of Raleigh-based Progress to 7 megawatts. It will be built by private developers and will sell power to Progress for 20 years. The terms of the contract are private.
Progress is using solar energy to comply with a 2007 state law requiring greater use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The state law allows electric utilities and local power agencies to pay a premium for green energy and pass on the costs to customers.
The Laurinburg solar farm will be developed by California developer MP2 Capital, Vermont-based solar installer groSolar, and Birdseye Renewable Energy, a real estate broker and property management firm in Charlotte.