Rahway, New Jersey [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] A group of federal, state and local officials gathered last week at Merck’s facility in Rahway/Linden to dedicate the company’s first large-scale solar energy system, and one of New Jersey’s largest roof-mounted solar installations.The 500-kilowatt (kW) system includes more than 1,500 solar panels that cover the roofs of two buildings on the Rahway/Linden campus, one of which already houses a hydrogen fuel cell. The project is the first of its kind to integrate fuel cell and solar power at a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. The photovoltaic panel installation, designed and managed by Edison, New Jersey-based Dome-Tech Solar, incorporates new solar technology using highly efficient solar panels and specialized roof-mounting technology that supersedes other rooftop solar solutions. “This innovative project provides a shining example of where New Jersey corporations need to be in the area of alternative energy,” said Tom Kuster, president, Dome-Tech Solar. “By making the commitment to install one of New Jersey’s largest roof-mounted solar installations, Merck is once again demonstrating its commitment to environmental leadership and being a responsible corporate steward of energy resources.” The installation of Merck’s first large-scale solar energy system on the Rahway/Linden campus is an important step for the facility, which has served as a key research and manufacturing site for Merck over 100 years. The buildings that will be fueled by the solar energy system include training, laboratory, information systems and other research and manufacturing support offices. Approximately 4,000 employees are located at the 210-acre complex. “By integrating solar and fuel cell generation systems — both made possible by state incentives — Merck has proven that clean energy technologies can be part of an effective, long-term strategy for companies looking to bring their energy spending under control,” said Jeanne Fox, president, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The solar installation is the result of an analysis of clean energy systems that was conducted by the project team. The study found that over the expected 30-year life of the solar equipment, the emission of 3,430 tons of carbon dioxide — equivalent to 7,250 barrels of oil — will be avoided by taking advantage of power from the sun.