Officials in East Windsor Township, N.J., recently completed a new solar project at the township’s police/court building. According to a press release, the 448 kW solar array is located to the rear of the municipal building on land donated to the township for this purpose by McGraw Hill.
Mayor Janice S. Mironov explains, “The solar array is designed to generate 577,093 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, offsetting nearly 100 percent of the police/court building’s energy use, and resulting in a savings to the township of approximately $527,933 over the 15-year term of the agreement. The township selected this site noting it is the most energy-intensive municipal building user, as it operates on a 24/7 basis and, therefore, provides the greatest opportunity to realize financial savings.”
Mironov adds, “This project, completed at no cost to our taxpayers and delivering more than a half-million-dollar cost reduction, is a prime example of ‘going green and saving green.’”
According to the release, the solar system was designed and built by Dobtol Construction in conjunction with Altus Power America, which will operate and maintain the solar system. Under the terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Altus Power America, East Windsor will pay Altus $0.0585/kWh, approximately half of the rate the township currently pays to Jersey Central Power & Light. After the initial 15-year period, the township retains the option to renew the agreement for two additional terms of five years each. If the township chooses to extend the PPA, savings to East Windsor taxpayers could exceed $1 million.
During the project review, Mironov and council members required that the solar array be well buffered from surrounding views and aesthetically agreeable to the neighborhood by ensuring the height and angling of the panels were well addressed and sufficient landscaping was installed. The township says the project has a substantial landscape buffer, including 24 Norway Spruce, 25 Colorado Spruce and 28 Green Giant Arborvitae trees, as well a six-foot-high, black-vinyl-coated fence around the solar array system.