Solar Project Moves Forward
January 6, 2011
A 2.3 megawatt solar photovoltaic project at Atlantic Cape Community College will get under way this spring, following several months of studies and planning. Installation is projected to begin in March and be completed in September.
Pepco Energy Services Inc. will design and construct the system, which will generate up to 48 percent of Atlantic Cape’s total annual electric consumption, at a set rate, independent of market rates. By entering into the agreement, Atlantic Cape will realize savings of $220,000 the first year, and up to $6.8 million over the 20-year life of the contract. The electricity generated per year will be equivalent to the amount needed to power approximately 220 homes.
The photovoltaic system includes the installation of carports in four parking lots on the Mays Landing and Cape May County campuses. About 80 percent of the carport arrays will be at the Mays Landing Campus.
“The solar energy initiative at Atlantic Cape is an excellent example of using innovative strategies to promote energy sustainability as a key step in fulfilling our institutional commitment to environmental stewardship in two counties,” said Dr. Peter L. Mora, president.
Pepco Energy plans to use local New Jersey labor and material suppliers, including Ray Angelini, Inc., of Sewell and Southern NJ Steel Company of Vineland, to create jobs in and around the local community.
“We are proud to be the driving force behind this important step forward in New Jersey’s solar energy future. We made sure we maximized the economic benefits to New Jersey by choosing local contractors to build both projects,” said David Weiss, president of the Energy Services Company of Pepco Energy Services.
“Southern New Jersey Steel is extremely excited to be part of the Pepco Energy Services team contributing to the implementation of this environmentally noteworthy project on the campuses of Atlantic Cape Community College,” said Hugh McCaffrey, president of Southern New Jersey Steel Company. “The steel canopy structures supporting the solar panels will be made of recycled metals enhancing the overall positive environmental impact of the project. Furthermore, the project will provide a powerful economic boost by creating and maintaining jobs at our company and for other local construction tradesmen that serve our currently distressed industry.”
The solar project ties in to Atlantic Cape’s Green Campus Initiative, which includes an Energy Master Plan to address and implement concepts supporting the NJ Energy Master Plan in reducing greenhouse emissions statewide, and moves the college toward environmental stewardship based on the efficient, responsible and sustainable use of resources. The college added a geothermal system in 2000 to heat and cool the B-building complex and will follow Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria, as set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council, on its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math building.