WMUA Breaks Ground on 1-MW Solar Plant

The Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority (WMUA) broke ground on a new 1.05-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array and micro-turbine project. The solar installation, which includes 5,300 Sharp solar panels, will be installed by APS Contractors Inc. at two WMUA venues, the waste treatment and drinking water plants.

When it is completed in the summer of 2010, it will enable the WMUA to meet 25% of its electricity needs with solar power. The projects will supply a significant proportion of the MUA’s energy needs – approximately 58% at the wastewater treatment plant, and 24% at the drinking water treatment plant.

“We’re delighted to be using solar to meet Willingboro MUA’s energy needs at our water treatment and distribution operation – and assisting New Jersey in meeting its renewable energy goals,” said Joe Bateman, executive director of the WMUA. “This project will serve to stabilize the cost of water service, and assist Willingboro in maintaining lower utility rate structures,” noted Thomas Scholtis, commission chair for the Willingboro MUA.

The projects were funded in part by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The 5,300 Sharp ND-U230 solar panels will generate about 1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year; the micro-turbines approximately 550,000 kWh per year. The project was authorized by the Willingboro Board of Commissioners in the fall of 2008.

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