Atlantic City Plans Giant Solar Roof Project

The Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, N.J., has announced plans to install a series of solar panels with which to fuel its facility. When they're installed, the panels will cover approximately two-thirds of the convention center's main roof, which the convention center says will be the largest solar roof in the United States.

"We have a great building to do this on, and we wanted to be the first kid on the block to get it on," Jeffrey Vasser, executive director of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, told Newark N.J.'s The Star-Ledger. "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."

The Atlantic City Convention Center has hired Pepco Energy Services, an Arlington, Va.-based energy company, to build its solar roof. As part of a 20-year agreement, Pepco will install and manage the solar panels; the convention center will then buy from Pepco the electricity that they generate. Over the course of the 20-year contract, the convention center will save approximately $4.4 million in electricity costs.

When it's complete, the Atlantic City Convention Center's solar roof will cover 290,000 square feet and generate approximately 2.36 megawatts of energy—enough to power 280 homes—every day. Work on the roof will begin this summer and will be finished by year's end.