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Gambling city convention center bets on solar power

In a New Jersey city known for gambling, one building is opting instead for a sure bet, at least in terms of reduced energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Atlantic City Convention Center has begun installing what officials say will be the “largest single-roof-mounted solar array in the United States.” When completed, some 290,000 square feet (26,942 square meters) of solar panels will cover about two-thirds of the structure’s rooftop, generating 2.36 megawatts of electricity.

The array will be installed, owned and maintained by Pepco Energy Services, which is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Over the 20-year life of the contract with Pepco, the Convention Center expects to save almost $4.4 million in electricity costs and reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2,349 tons.

According to center officials, the photovoltaic installation will have the same impact as removing 390 automobiles from the roads and equals the annual carbon sequestration provided by 484 acres of trees.

Odds are good that the entire solar array will be up and running by the end of this year.

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