Rutgers University Breaks Ground on 1.4-MW Solar System

Officials from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, joined commissioners from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to break ground on the construction of a seven-acre solar energy facility, one of the largest systems on a single campus in the United States.

The 1.4-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility at Rutgers will consist of more than 7,000 solar panels and will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the school’s Livingston Campus. Rutgers will fund approximately half of the US $10 million cost of the project but the balance will be subsidized by a rebate through the BPU‘s Clean Energy Program. The program is aimed at public agencies and institutions to help them defer the cost of implementing solar projects.

“By taking advantage of New Jersey’s innovative solar financing program to create the largest campus-based solar energy farm in the nation, Rutgers is demonstrating that investment in clean energy is good for the environment, good for the economy and good for the future of this state,” said BPU Commissioner Joseph Fiordaliso.

Besides receiving rebates, Rutgers will capitalize on the BPU’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program. According to Rutgers the solar energy project will save Rutgers more than US $200,000 in its first year of operation, rising to more than US $300,000 in annual savings by the end of the 15-year program. The solar farm is expected by to be in operation in the spring of 2009. The project is being installed by SunDurance Energy.

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