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New Jersey American Water has made a big step toward energy savings with the state's largest ground-mounted solar electric system at its Canal Road Water Treatment Plant in Somerset, N.J.
The 500-kilowatt ground-mounted system was designed and built by Dome-Tech Solar, a premier solar energy firm serving industrial and institutional clients in the northeast. The system includes more than 2,800 solar panels from RWE SCHOTT Solar. New Jersey American Water expects it will be able to supplement 15% of the peak usage power needed to run the plant with solar energy and save approximately $125,000 a year in reduced energy costs. During peak production periods, the electricity produced by the solar system would be enough to meet the average electricity demand of more than 500 NJ homes.
"As part of our overall campaign to reduce energy expenses, now and over time, we are working to keep our costs down, which may enable us to pass those savings on to our customers. In fact, with the rebate from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, the solar system alone will pay for itself in about seven years, possibly creating larger savings as the system continues to produce energy for many more years," said Walter Lynch, president of New Jersey American Water.
The state of New Jersey encourages the use of green energy through its Clean Energy rebate program.
"The upcoming dedication of the state's largest ground-mounted solar
electric system by New Jersey American Water sets an excellent example of clean energy solutions that make sense for New Jersey businesses and residents," said NJBPU President Fox. "The solar rebate that the NJBPU is providing the company - almost 60% of the project's cost - will help advance solar technologies that lower energy costs, reduce peak load and serve as an investment in the health and environment of Garden State residents for years to come."
"New Jersey American Water's corporate vision is driving this achievement - installing and activating the largest ground-mounted solar energy system in New Jersey," said Tom Kuster, president of Dome-Tech Solar.
"We applaud New Jersey American Water for its long-term view and willingness to take action now to harness clean, renewable energy, reaping benefits today and well into the future for the company and its customers."
This pilot program could lead to the use of solar energy at other American Water plants.