Ground-Mounted Solar Electricity System Launched

Next week New Jersey American Water will present its new ground-mounted solar electric system at Somerset, New Jersey’s Canal Road Water Treatment Plant.

The 500-kW ground-mounted system, which includes more than 2,800 solar panels from RWE Schott Solar, was designed and built by Dome-Tech Solar. New Jersey American Water expects to supplement 15 percent 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. New Jersey American Water is the state’s largest water utility serving more than two million people in 176 communities throughout the state. “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,” said Walter Lynch, New Jersey American Water president. “The solar rebate that the NJBPU is providing the company — almost 60 percent 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,” said Jeanne M. Fox, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) president. “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,” said Tom Kuster, president of Dome-Tech Solar. RWE Schott Solar, manufacturer and distributor of solar power components and systems, produces the ASE 300, one of the world’s largest solar power modules. RWE Schott Solar is a subsidiary of RWE Schott Solar GmbH. The RWE and Schott companies had combined sales exceeding $55 billion in 2002, and employ 150,000 people worldwide.

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