Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) marked the first phase of construction at its Yardville Solar Farm on South Broad St. in Hamilton Township, N.J. The 4.4-megawatt facility is one of four ground-mounted solar farms that the utility is developing as part of its $515 million Solar 4 All™ program. Through the program, PSE&G expects to develop more than 20 solar projects, which represents an investment of more than $140 million that will create almost 300 jobs and provide New Jersey with 30 megawatts of solar-generated power.
“The Yardville Solar Farm exemplifies PSE&G’s environmental commitment and its leadership position in renewable energy,” said Al Matos, PSE&G’s vice president of renewables and energy solutions. “Projects like this will help move Hamilton Township, Mercer County and New Jersey toward a brighter future.”
“This is one of many projects that PSE&G is developing as we invest more than $750 million to increase access to solar energy in New Jersey,” Matos said. “Clean energy investments are key to a sustainable future. In addition to being good for the environment, these investments are creating jobs and helping New Jersey to build a new, green sector that will strengthen the skills of the workforce and our state’s ability to compete globally.”
The Yardville Solar Farm will be comprised of 15,750 solar panels covering 15.75 acres of PSE&G property and will be connected directly to the electric grid for the benefit of all PSE&G electric customers. The solar farm will produce enough electricity to power about 720 average-size homes.
PSE&G is developing the four ground-mounted solar farms on PSE&G-owned properties in Linden (3.2 megawatts), Edison (2 megawatts) and Trenton (1.3 megawatts). Each will be among the largest solar farms developed in New Jersey. All four sites will utilize crystalline solar panel technology and have monitoring and communications functionality. In addition, PSE&G is building a 1-megawatt solar system on the roof of its Central Electric headquarters in Somerset, N.J., and a 700-kilowatt solar system at its Edison Training and Development Center facility in Edison, N.J.. There also are four solar systems built on the grounds of five Newark Public Schools as part of the Solar 4 All program.
The 20 projects under development will produce enough energy to power about 4,900 homes and eliminate 23,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of removing nearly 2,800 cars from the road for one year.
PSE&G is using leading solar energy companies to help deploy solar farms across the state to help drive New Jersey’s economic growth in this sector. American Capital Energy, a premier developer of solar energy projects, is responsible for the deployment of the Hamilton Township project.
State regulators approved PSE&G’s Solar 4 All program in July 2009. The program involves a $515 million investment in 80 megawatts of solar power, creating green jobs and vastly increasing the amount of renewable energy capacity in the state of New Jersey. The program’s first segment consists of installing up to 40 megawatts of pole-attached smart solar units in neighborhoods on utility poles in PSE&G’s service territory, which includes the state’s six largest cities and roughly 300 rural and suburban communities. This is the largest pole-attached solar installation in the world, with the smart solar units connected directly into PSE&G’s electric distribution system.
The second segment of the Solar 4 All program focuses on 40 megawatts of centralized solar facilities, such as the Yardville Solar Farm and other solar sites on PSE&G owned or leased properties.
The financial benefits that Solar 4 All produces – federal tax investment credits, sale of the energy and capacity, as well as monetizing the solar environmental credits (SRECs) – are returned to PSE&G electric ratepayers to reduce the overall cost of the program.