Alamance County legislators announce NC GreenPower’s first generation of hydro electric for North Carolina’s power supply

May 1, 2005

Burlington, N.C. — N.C. Legislators Rep. Cary Allred and Senator Hugh Webster (both representing Alamance County) announced today at a press conference the first generation of electricity from a water source for the NC GreenPower program, a statewide non-profit that encourages the development of renewable energy for the state’s power supply. This type of power — hydroelectric — replenishes itself naturally and is a a cleaner source of energy. It will be generated at the Saxapahaw Dam and Plant in Alamance County and will be used to power homes and businesses throughout the state.

Hydro power uses falling water (gravity) to produce power. This falling water is directed through a turbine, causing it to spin. The spinning turbine is coupled to a generator, which produces energy. Small-scale hydro systems offer several advantages. The generation process produces no pollution. It doesn’t require a large dam or reservoir; some systems can be powered by only a small stream. So, a little bit of water goes a long way.

Also announced at the press conference was the latest corporate sponsor of the NC GreenPower program — T.S. Designs. Located in Burlington, this full-service apparel, domestic manufacturing and screenprinting company delivers high-quality products by leveraging technology and creative design while pioneering sustainable practices and partnerships. The company’s goal for 2005 was to be running the company on 10 percent green power. Coupled with the installation of solar panel arrays, their contribution to NC GreenPower has helped them well exceed their goal.


The Saxapahaw Dam and Plant, owned and operated by Haw River Hydro Co., has produced clean renewable energy on a continuous basis for 23 years, providing enough electricity for 700 houses annually. The dam is interconnected with Duke Energy to supply hydropower for the state’s power supply. Other environmental benefits provided by this hydroelectric facility on an annual basis are:

  1. Saving 6,884,000 lbs. (3442.5 tons) of coal from being burned
  2. Saving 55,000 lbs. (27.5 tons) of sulfur dioxide from being released
  3. Saving 22,000 lbs. (11.5 tons) of nitrogen oxides from being released
  4. Saving 17,700,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to planting 1.4 million trees or 2.1 million miles not driven


NC GreenPower is the nation’s first statewide, multi-utility initiative to encourage the development of renewable energy sources. The program taps into technology that transforms renewable energy sources such as wind, the sun and landfill and animal waste methane gas into safe and environmentally sustainable power, giving North Carolinians cleaner options for their energy sources. The N.C. Utilities Commission approved the NC GreenPower program plan in January 2003.

It has awarded agreements to suppliers of renewable energy statewide for solar and landfill and animal waste methane gas. This pay-as-you-go program will award agreements to more suppliers as additional volunteer contributions are received.

Residential and business customers may voluntarily contribute tax-deductible funds that NC GreenPower uses to purchase power from renewable energy sources in North Carolina for the state’s electric supply. Customers may sign up for the program by contacting their electric provider. To date, about 6,400 residential and business energy consumers voluntarily sponsor 19,316,400 kilowatt hour, which is the environmental equivalent of planting more than 37 billion trees or not driving 587.2 billion miles.

Other corporate sponsors of the program are Advanced Energy, Dominion North Carolina Power, Duke Energy, Eisai, Lowe’s, N.C. Department of Justice — Attorney General’s Office, N.C. Department of Administration — State Energy Office, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Progress Energy, Public Power, Smithfield Foods, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, N.C. Farm Bureau, N.C. Pork Council and Research Triangle Institute.