Environment
4:00 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Raleigh Seeks Alternative Energy Source

Raleigh is hoping to build another sustainable energy facility. This one would be a hydroelectric plant at the Falls Lake Dam.

Dave DeWitt: Raleigh already generates power by harnessing methane gas at its landfill. Now, city officials are hoping to turn the Falls Lake Dam into a power plant. It would be small, generating electricity for just a few hundred homes. But it could also be profitable.

City officials say that is the key. If the $5-to-7 million hydroelectric facility could pay for itself, that would go a long way toward getting it built. Officials also say a plant wouldn't affect water levels or quality. Falls Lake is the single largest provider of drinking water for Raleigh and eastern Wake County.

Public meetings and a site visit at the Falls Lake Dam are scheduled for later today.