Good Life

As part of energy renovation, Charlotte building gets two small wind turbines

Uptown Charlotte’s first wind turbines are spinning atop Packard Place, the funky 1920s car dealership at Church and Third streets that has been renovated into an energy-efficient space for entrepreneurs.

The two six-foot turbines don’t look like the familiar image of three-bladed windmills. They look like fans mounted on masts, vanes on either side pointing them into the wind. Like the building’s abstract paint scheme, they’re something different uptown.

“What is that?” visitors want to know, said Packard Place director Adam Hill. What it is, he said, is the passion of building owner Dan Roselli for renewable energy.

A $311,000 grant from the State Energy Office helped turn the circa-1928 building into a model of energy innovation. It’s been certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, green-building program. Among its tenants are CLT Joules, an energy incubator.

The wind turbines share space on the building’s white, heat-reflecting roof with electricity-generating solar panels. Another solar array supplies hot water to bathrooms, a locker room and a restaurant downstairs. The turbines will generate a relatively modest amount of electricity, but perhaps enough to light the five-story building’s common areas

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