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Atlantic City Convention Center Plans Largest Solar Roof in U.S.

Giving a new meaning to the term “sun roof”, Atlantic City’s Convention Center will install solar photovoltaic (PV) modules on 290,000 square feet of roof space, saving a projected $4.4 million over 20 years, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. In a groundbreaking economic arrangement, Pepco Energy Services, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, will pay to have the solar panels installed, and the Convention Center will then buy back the electricity from Pepco. The installation will provide a quarter of the energy consumed by the convention center. The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) says the installation will be the largest in the U.S. on one roof.

“Jeffrey Vasser, executive director of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, said the group began planning a solar project a few years ago when Gov. Jon S. Corzine pushed for greater use of sun and wind power in New Jersey.

‘We have a great building to do this on, and we wanted to be the first kid on the block to get in on it,’ Vasser said. This helps a young industry grow into a mature one, helps reduce our dependence on oil, and produces electricity that does not increase carbon emissions into the air,’ he said of the multi million-dollar project.”

State Governors, take note what a little forward-thinking leadership can accomplish. And think about the vast acreage across the U.S. devoted to industrial-size roofs that could be deployed to save businesses millions of dollars on energy while lessening our dependence on foreign oil. Oh yeah, and helping the environment.

Image Credit: Solar Service, Inc.

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Written By

Carol Gulyas is a leader in the renewable energy community in Illinois, where she serves as VP of the Board of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Recently she co-founded EcoAchievers -- a provider of online education for the renewable energy and sustainable living community. She spent 18 years in the direct marketing industry in New York and Chicago, and is currently a teaching librarian at Columbia College Chicago. Carol grew up in a small town in central Indiana, then lived in the Pacific Northwest, Lima, Peru, and New York City. She is inspired by reducing energy consumption through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building technology.

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