PR – SAS, the leader in business intelligence and analytics software, working with Progress Energy Carolinas and SunPower Corp. , will develop a solar electric power farm on the company’s Cary, NC, headquarters campus. Scheduled to go online in late 2008, the project is the latest in the company’s continuing sustainability efforts to conserve environmental resources.
“I’m fortunate to participate in global business forums with some of the world’s finest corporate and government leaders. Without fail, the environment ranks among their top concerns. Additionally, our employees and customers expect us to be responsible corporate citizens. This solar farm is one small gesture among many green initiatives within SAS to diminish the impact on our environment,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “Future generations depend on us to do the right thing today.”
Covering five acres, the 1-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) solar array will feature SunPower® Tracker solar tracking systems. The Tracker tilts toward the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent over fixed systems while reducing land-use requirements. SAS’ solar farm is estimated to generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 1,600 tons annually. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of more than 167,000 gallons of gasoline.
“This project is a perfect example of the kind of innovation and leadership our state needs to expand the important role of renewable energy,” said Lloyd M. Yates, President and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas. “Progress Energy is moving forward aggressively and cost-effectively on renewable and alternative energy projects as part of a balanced strategy for meeting the needs of our growing region. We’re proud to be part of this milestone. Our hope is that this project, and the partnership and collaboration it represents, will be a model and catalyst for many more like it.”
The North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University collaborated with SAS on the initial feasibility study and will continue to help identify best practices and share information as the project progresses.
Under North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) utility companies must obtain up to 12.5 percent of their energy through renewable resources or energy efficiency measures by 2021. They must also begin including solar-generated energy by 2010. SAS’ solar array, which will be one of the largest of its kind in the southeastern US, is the largest PV project announced in Progress Energy’s service area since North Carolina’s energy law took effect in 2007. SunPower will build the solar array; Progress Energy will purchase the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and electricity generated by the solar farm for use on the public energy grid.
“By using high-efficiency SunPower solar technology, SAS and Progress Energy are maximizing both their financial returns and the environmental benefits of this installation,” said Tom Werner, Chief Executive Officer of SunPower. “They are demonstrating leadership in the region by addressing local energy needs with clean, renewable solar power.”