Aug 14, 2009

Solar Modules Help Power Morristown, N.J., Wastewater Treatment Plant

Solar installation will provide about 40% of electricity needed to run the plant

The Morristown, N.J., Wastewater Treatment Facility recently opened its new solar electric generating system—the town’s first publicly owned system.

Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello, who championed the effort to install the system, reported that it will be green for the environment and green for Morristown’s taxpayers.
“This project saves taxpayer money,” Cresitello said. “By reducing energy costs at the wastewater treatment facility, and bringing new revenue from sales of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, the system will pay for itself within 10 years.”

A New Jersey Clean Energy Program rebate of $1,464,734 significantly lowered the project’s net cost. The 578-kilowatt solar installation will provide approximately 40% of the electricity necessary to run the plant from the clean, renewable power of sunlight, saving the town a minimum of $90,000 a year. Additionally, the project will qualify for more than 600 Solar Renewable Energy Certificates per year to help offset the cost of the system, contributing up to $384,000 in the first year alone.

The system includes 2,550 Kyocera solar modules on ground-mounted arrays and carport structures, with 390 other modules making up the balance of the installation. The entire system is expected to produce more than 635,800 kilowatt hours per year—enough to power about 73 typical New Jersey households. By offsetting an estimated 359 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the system’s carbon impact is equivalent to removing 81 cars from the road.

During the event’s inauguration, Vanguard Energy Partners, LLC, the system integrator, displayed the system’s real-time, online energy monitoring system. The SunFlow Monitor by Noveda Technologies will track the amount of electricity being generated, along with the facility’s power consumption and the efficiency of the solar photovoltaic system.

“Kyocera is committed to environmental preservation, and we’re proud to help convert unusable space into a source of clean energy,” stated Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar, Inc. “We are pleased to join Vanguard Energy Partners in contributing to New Jersey’s renewable energy goals with installations that reflect a growing trend.”