January 25, 2012 - NJMC Unveils Carport Solar Canopy
NJMC Unveils Carport Solar Canopy
Renewable Energy Source Advances Christie Administration Energy Master Plan By Reducing Utility Costs, Boosting Green Economy and Protecting the Environment
LYNDHURST, N.J. – Furthering the Christie Administration’s commitment to securing a sound and affordable energy future for New Jersey, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) today unveiled its new Carport Solar Canopy, a structure that helps power the agency’s administration building and reduces the Commission’s energy costs and carbon footprint while providing a boost to the green economy. The 230-foot-long, 15-foot high canopy includes 504 photovoltaic panels and covers a section of the main parking lot at NJMC headquarters in DeKorte Park. It also provides almost 20 percent of the administration building’s electricity needs, further exemplifying the Meadowlands Commission’s ongoing efforts to promote sources of clean and cost-efficient renewable energy.
“The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s Solar Canopy exemplifies Governor Christie’s forward-thinking energy policy which demonstrates that economic growth, helping the environment and achieving cost savings go hand-in-hand,” said Richard E. Constable, III, Commissioner of the State Department of Community Affairs. “Through this latest solar initiative, the Commission continues to be a regional leader in the production of critical renewable energy projects that will lead to a sustainable environmental and economic energy future for New Jersey.” The Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs also serves as Chairman of the NJMC.
New Jersey currently has over 13,000 solar energy array projects installed across the state providing over 565 MW of installed capacity. In a September 2011 report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association, the New Jersey market for commercial solar surpassed California as the country’s largest commercial solar market. New Jersey’s solar installations now account for 24 percent of all such arrays in the U.S.
As a result of the NJMC Carport Solar Canopy, the Commission’s entire campus now receives 100% of its electricity from renewable sources thanks to the energy generated from the canopy combined with renewable power imported to the campus through a third-party electricity supplier from the NJMC 1A Landfill system.
The solar canopy also provides an up-close look at the benefits of renewable energy for the more than 15,000 students who participate in the NJMC’s environmental education programs. Students will be able to monitor the electricity generated by the solar panels in real time and Meadowlands Environment Center educators can incorporate the canopy into their lessons on renewable energy.
The solar canopy system was designed and constructed by Edison-based SunDurance Energy, which develops, designs, builds and operates megawatt-scale solar power solutions for commercial, industrial, government and utility-scale markets. SunDurance is part of the Conti Group, a nationwide leader in renewable energy projects.
“We are thrilled to have provided a project that so ably demonstrates the many positive impacts a solar installation can have,” said Al Bucknam, CEO of SunDurance Energy. “Not only is the system offsetting a significant portion of the NJMC’s electricity usage, it is a powerful educational tool for our children.”
The NJMC has been at the forefront of fostering the use of renewable energy in the Meadowlands District. In December the Commission completed the NJMC 1A Landfill Solar Project, the first solar array installed on a State-owned landfill. The 3MW system consists of more than 12,500 solar panels mounted atop the 35-acre landfill in Kearny. The project successfully transformed a closed, underutilized space into a productive source of emission-free, economical power.
The Commission’s Center for Environmental and Scientific Education opened in 2008 and was the first public building in New Jersey to attain LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Platinum status – the highest ranking – from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building’s 165 rooftop solar panels deliver approximately 40 percent of the facility’s electricity needs.
“Under the Christie Administration’s leadership New Jersey has become a national leader in the production of solar energy, a growing and important industry that has made a significant contribution to the State’s continuing economic turnaround over the past two years,” said Marcia Karrow, Executive Director of the NJMC. “The Meadowlands Commission is proud to help move the Governor’s energy goals forward and will continue to pursue innovative and essential renewable energy projects.”
Photo Caption: NJMC Commissioner Thomas Quirico, NJMC Commissioner Jay Nadel, NJMC Executive Director Marcia Karrow, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Acting Commissioner Richard E. Constable III, NJMC Commissioner James Bocchino, NJMC Commissioner Mauro DeGennaro.
Photos courtesy NJMC