2 MW Installations Abound: Colorado Airport & NJ Warehouse Go Solar

DT Solar, a Turner Renewable Energy company, and Hall’s Warehouse Corporation, a family-owned refrigerated and frozen food storage and distribution company, announced an agreement to build a 2-megawatt (MW) solar electric power system to supply electricity to their facility in South Plainfield, New Jersey. The companies say that when completed, this project will be the largest rooftop solar electric system serving a private company in the United States.

The solar power system in South Plainfield, NJ will consist of approximately 13,500 solar modules. 

Hall’s will make no up-front investment in the solar project.  Instead, Hall’s will purchase all of the electricity produced by the system under a long-term agreement at rates below what they would pay the local utility for electricity. 

DT Solar will design, build and operate the system, and work with an investment partner to finance the cost of the installation.  Revenue from electricity sales to Hall’s, and the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) to New Jersey electric utilities, will pay for the investment over time. 

“Hall’s commitment is a milestone for the solar market and for New Jersey’s new solar financing program,” said Jeanne Fox, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “This project, and the SREC financing that makes it possible, brings us one step closer to reaching our goal of 2 percent by 2020.”

In related solar installation news, WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corp., developer and marketer of high-power solar systems, announced it will engineer and construct a 2-MW solar system at Denver International Airport (DIA).

WorldWater’s photovoltaic (PV) system of ground mounted tracking solar arrays will be located at the entrance to the main terminal.

MMA Renewable Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity will finance the Denver installation through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). WorldWater will begin construction of the project immediately for completion in 2008. MMA Renewable Ventures will own and operate the system under a long-term PPA contract.

“DIA has a long-standing commitment to sustainable operations and environmental protection. This solar energy system will…serve as a highly visible environmental statement to the millions of passengers that travel through our airport each month,” said Turner West, aviation manager for Denver International Airport.

The companies are expecting that each installation will generate approximately 3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean electricity annually.

The solar power system at Hall’s will be installed as part of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ “SREC-Only Pilot Program”, a new market-based incentive program introduced by the BPU to replace the up-front cash rebates offered in recent years as a means of meeting the state’s legislatively mandated solar power development goals.  The “SREC-Only Pilot Program” enables the financing for the project by creating a market for trading Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) in the state and providing a level of assurance on the value of SRECs over an eight-year timeframe.

The DIA project is part of the Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards program and will receive a rebate to offset the upfront construction costs. Xcel Energy will purchase the renewable energy credits from the solar energy produced in support of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, which requires large utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020. With the City of Denver, Xcel Energy will develop an educational display for DIA’s main terminal to explain the benefits of solar energy.

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