Raleigh officials said today the city has begun construction on what will be the biggest urban solar energy plant in downtown Raleigh.
The 500-kilowatt system planned for the rooftop of the Raleigh Convention Center is expected to start generating electricity in April.
The system is financed in an unusual arrangement. Two alternative energy companies, FLS Energy and PowerWorks, will build, own and operate the solar panels. Progress Energy will buy the electricity.
The city is leasing space on the Convention Center roof to house the solar array. It is Raleigh's 10th solar energy plant with a total output capacity of 2.15 megawatts.
However, 500 kilowatts (1/2 megawatt) is not the largest system in the state. Several systems in development are about 5 megawatts and one, in Davidson County, is 15.5 megawatts.