As local chamber leaders from across the Carolinas gathered at the Charlotte Motor Speedway to kick off their semi-annual meeting, they were probably not surprised to learn about the $400 million annual boost the raceway provides to the regional economy. But they may have been surprised to hear about the innovative energy program launched in recent years by the Speedway.
The Speedway, which has its own landfill, has partnered with its business community, including Foristar Inc. and Duke Energy, to provide clean energy to 7,700 area homes. Landfill methane powers turbines, which in turn generate electricity distributed through Duke Energy’s grid.
Tim Hagler, a vice president at the Speedway, is an active leader on the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce Board, which hosted the regional meeting, and has done a great deal to educate chamber members on the economic opportunities with clean energy. He spoke of the Speedway experience along with Chris Carmody, a senior adviser to Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, a sponsor of the Carolinas meeting.