McGraw-Hill, NJR Plan Record-Setting Solar Plant In New Jersey


The McGraw-Hill Companies and NJR Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV), a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, plan to build a 14.1 MW PV plant on McGraw-Hill's East Windsor, N.J., campus.

According to the companies, this project will be the largest privately owned, net-metered solar project in the Western Hemisphere. It is expected to produce 18 million kWh annually.

NJRCEV will invest $60 million to develop and install the ground-mounted solar array on a 50-acre parcel on McGraw-Hill's property adjacent to the corporation's two office buildings, including its 180,000 square-foot data center. The system will be installed by Advanced Solar Products of Flemington, N.J., with assistance from MVM Advisors LLC of New York.

Advanced Solar Products' ballasted racking system, manufactured in New Jersey, requires no ground penetrations, the companies note. In addition, McGraw-Hill intends to plant approximately 25 acres of trees to surround the solar panels.

The data center, which opened in 2008, is the central hub of the Corporation's global computing needs and is using increasing amounts of electricity to deliver more of McGraw-Hill's digital products, the company notes. The solar installation is expected to help power the data center, as well as the company's other energy needs.

NJR expects that investments made by NJRCEV will qualify for a 30% federal investment tax credit. In addition, the energy produced will be eligible for solar renewable energy credits, which can be sold to load-serving entities in New Jersey to meet their renewable energy requirements, the companies add.

The system is expected to be completed in two phases, with 50% of the capacity expected operational in December 2011, and the remaining 50% in March 2012.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory photo database

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