Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is marking construction of its Linden Solar Farm on the doorstep of PSEG’s Linden Generating Station. The 3.2-megawatt facility is one of four ground-mounted solar farms that PSE&G is developing as part of its $515 million Solar 4 All™ program. It is one of three solar farms being built on former brownfields that have been returned to a useful role.
The Linden farm is one of more than 20 solar projects that PSE&G is developing through its Solar 4 All program, with a total investment of more than $140 million that will create almost 300 jobs and provide New Jersey with 30 megawatts of solar-generated power.
“The Linden Solar Farm shows how the benefits of solar power extend far beyond just producing clean, carbon-free electricity,” said Al Matos, PSE&G’s vice president of renewables and energy solutions. “This project exemplifies PSE&G’s environmental commitment and its leadership position in renewable energy. We are giving new life to a once-contaminated site.”
“With our solar arrays here in Linden, as well as those in Edison and Trenton, we are helping to turn brownfields green – and give these long-dormant sites a new purpose,” Matos continued. “By the end of this year, these three solar farms will be providing enough electricity to power about 1,000 average-sized homes, while creating jobs and helping New Jersey to become a major player in the renewable energy sector.”
The Linden Solar Farm will comprise 11,484 solar panels covering a little more than 10 acres of PSE&G property and will be connected directly to the electric grid for the benefit of all PSE&G electric customers. The solar farm will produce enough electricity to power about 525 average-sized homes
PSE&G is developing the four ground-mounted solar farms on PSE&G-owned properties in Linden, Yardville (4.4 megawatts), Edison (2 megawatts) and Trenton (1.3 megawatts). Each will be among New Jersey’s largest solar farms. The sites will utilize crystalline solar panel technology and have monitoring and communications functionality. In addition, PSE&G is building a 1-megawatt solar system on the roof of its Central Electric headquarters in Somerset, N.J., and a 700-kilowatt solar system at its Edison Training and Development Center facility in Edison, N.J. There also are four solar systems built on the grounds of five Newark Public Schools as part of the Solar 4 All program.
The 20-plus projects under development will produce enough energy to power about 4,900 homes and eliminate 23,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions – the equivalent of removing nearly 2,800 cars from the road for one year.
PSE&G is using leading solar energy companies to help deploy solar farms across the state to help drive New Jersey’s economic growth in this sector. Advanced Solar Products, a premier developer of solar energy projects, is responsible for the deployment of the Linden project.
State regulators approved PSE&G’s Solar 4 All program in July 2009. The program involves a $515 million investment in 80 megawatts of solar power, creating green jobs and vastly increasing the amount of renewable energy capacity in the state of New Jersey
The program’s first segment consists of installing up to 40 megawatts of pole-attached smart solar units in neighborhoods on utility poles in PSE&G’s service territory, which includes the state’s six largest cities and roughly 300 rural and suburban communities. This is the largest pole-attached solar installation in the world, with the smart solar units connected directly into PSE&G’s electric distribution system.
The second segment of the Solar 4 All program focuses on 40 megawatts of centralized solar facilities, such as the Linden Solar Farm and other solar sites on PSE&G owned or leased properties.
The financial benefits that Solar 4 All produces – federal tax investment credits, sale of the energy and capacity, as well as monetizing the solar environmental credits (SRECs) – are returned to PSE&G electric ratepayers to reduce the overall cost of the program.