Solar Energy World is finishing installing a 312kW solar array with 1,248 LG 250-watt panels at the Metuchen Sportsplex in central, NJ. The solar energy system will supply approximately 34%of the building’s energy needs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 215 metric tons a year.
Metuchen Sportsplex is the tenant of the property. Owned by its joint venture partner, an affiliate of The Maven Group, the property was originally classified as a “Brownfield” and another affiliate of the Maven Group completed remediation of the site and built the 70,000 sq. ft. indoor recreation center, which opened in the fall of 2010.
As part of its development agreement with the Borough of Metuchen, The Maven Group moved forward with solar energy in late spring of 2011 to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint and affirm its commitment to renewable energy.
Stuart Schooler, the managing partner of the joint venture, was asked about the firm’s decision to install photovoltaic panels. ”We evaluate geothermal, photovoltaics and wind energy for every project we develop. A relatively urban recreational facility sitting atop a former brownfields site is an almost ideal application for solar-generated electricity. In the long-run it will keep rental costs down for teams that use the fields and provide other practical benefits like reflecting heat off of the roof to reduce the need for air conditioning and extend the life of the roof.”
This solar panel installation isn’t a first for The Maven Group, previously installing solar on their Rockville Ice Rink. So, they were familiar with most of the benefits. The project will generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC). These certificates can be sold on New Jersey’s SREC tracking system and will generate approximately $184,000 in revenue during the system’s first year in operation.
“Every installation requires the collaboration of the local government for zoning and permitting, the owner, the user and [while not technically a requirement,] the public utility. During and in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, SEW delivered this rooftop system without losing a single panel and completed its interconnection with PSE&G on time, a testament to the real economic benefits of cooperation even in the face of a natural disaster” said Solar Energy World VP, Geoff Mirkin.
Solar Energy World plans to finalize the solar energy system and connect it to the electrical grid within the coming weeks.
The main concern with a Solar Farm involves the adverse effects on surrounding wildlife and the ecosystem. With solar energy farms in generally arid regions, plants and animals must adapt to very specific harsh environments.
Environmentalists fear that any change, such as a large solar energy farm in the middle of the region could disrupt the ecosystem. While that may be so, do the environmental benefits of renewable energy out weigh the disruption?
The environmental impact of using solar energy are varied. Solar energy is renewable – emitting zero toxins and is always available.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is conducting wildlife studies comparing a solar array located in Boulder, CO to an existing control site. NREL has left areas of the Boulder site untouched near the array, which will help to naturally reseed the ground. They have also added a grass seed mixture beneath the array to help prevent erosion.
NREL Senior Biologist Brenda Beatty: “The experiments will begin to give us a handle on how photovoltaic installations and operations affect vegetation in our portion of the arid West, and the information obtained may be useful for other NREL projects, and for revegetation efforts at other solar installations.”
Can environmental preservation and renewable energy solutions work together? Is it fair to say that both have a positive effect on the environment?
More about NREL
Did you know that PEPCO and BGE customers can save on a qualified energy audit? That’s what you don’t find in your electric bill – but it’s true!
Not only that, but they offer rebates on the recommended work from the audit. So, try this on for size:
Your a Pepco customer…
Cost of audit: $400 ($300 is paid for by Pepco)
And say they recommend that you add insullation for greater energy efficiency. You could receive up to $1,200 in rebates from Pepco, 35% of the cost up to $1,500 from the Maryland Energy Administration plus 10% of the cost up to $500 in a federal tax credit.
Not a bad deal – and you could save up to 20% on your energy costs. Schedule an energy audit today to learn more!
According to National Geographic Freshwater Fellow Sandra Postel, energy production around the world is the second-largest “slice” of global water usage, behind diet. Yet another reason why dirty energy is unsustainable. She writes:
“Thermoelectric generation accounts for 49 percent of the water withdrawn from the nation’s water sources, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In fact, the single biggest draw on U. S. rivers and lakes is not toilets, golf courses, or even irrigated farms. It’s thermal power plants that generate electricity to light our homes and cities, run appliances and factories, and generally keep our plugged-in society humming.”
Basically, water is used in the production of energy. And a LOT more is used in the production of dirty electricity, such as from coal, oil, natural gas, or uranium.
What if instead of using “40 gallons of water per day to power your refrigerator,” your fridge ran on solar electricity! Additionally, heating your hot water with solar thermal electricity saves water as well.
In the Midwest, a St. Paul convention center just unveiled the largest solar thermal system in the region. The $2 million system has enough panels to cover half of a football field, and will generate 1 megawatt of electricity per year! That’s the equivalent of about 1,000 homes turning off their faucets while they brush their teeth for a day.
Solar thermal is a great way to up your water efficiency. Heating your hot water is roughly 30% of the average home energy bill. Think of the (water) (money) (electricity) you can save!
On this 100th annual International Women’s Day, take a moment to celebrate the amazing women in your life. Indeed, there are also many women doing extraordinary things for the environment around the world! From Vandana Shiva to Wangari Maathai, women around the world are spearheading green efforts, making Mother Earth proud!
Also, read up on how working on behalf of the environment AND women are not only mutually beneficial, they can be simultaneous and immediate. For example, the impact of small-scale farming on women in sub-Saharan Africa aids in women’s economic enfranchisement and therefore the advancing of social and economic equality.
Take a look at what women in rural India are doing to fight climate change, how contraceptives benefit women and the environment, and learn more about this year’s theme: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.
Read what U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said about this year’s International Women’s Day, and find out what you can do to advance women’s empowerment worldwide through the award-winning The Girl Effect, and visit Care International (of post-WWII care package fame) to learn about more initiatives benefiting women and girls worldwide.
If a 12-year old girl can help save the world in rural India, so can you!
Interested in solar but want to learn more? Feel free to attend one of our upcoming local solar workshops!
- Thurs., March 10 at 6 PM: Green Drinks Columbia at Ranazul, 8171 Maple Lawn Blvd., Maple Lawn MD 20759… Come to learn about solar in a short presentation and mingle with eco-minded folks. The first 20 people get a free drink and we are raffling off a free energy audit! Bring friends and get more chances to win!
- Thurs., March 24 at 7 PM: King Farm Community Workshop, 300 Saddle Ridge Circle, Rockville, MD 20850… Learn about how affordable solar power can be in a workshop tailored to Montgomery County residents, and specifically King Farm.
- Mon., April 18 from 8 AM to 4 PM: Towson University. In this community sustainability conference, come and learn about solar energy, local environmental initiatives, and hear from students and faculty about Towson’s efforts at going green!
- Thurs., April 21 at 6:30 PM: Anne Arundel County’s Quiet Waters Park Lecture Series. Visit this workshop to learn about our efforts in the community in Anne Arundel County, and for more information on solar power for residents and business owners.
They are all free! Hope to see you soon, and please feel free to forward widely.
For our online, on-demand solar energy workshop, please visit our tutorial!
For more information on any of these workshops, or to submit an idea for a future venue, contact Evin Phoenix, Community Outreach Coordinator at ePhoenix@solareworld.com
You might think that commercial solar arrays are expensive. The reality is this: it’s costly NOT to go solar. Here’s the breakdown (what you’re missing!):
- The typical ROI (return on investment) is between 12-30%!
- The federal government subsidizes your system by 30% (uncapped)
- The state of Maryland (as an example) offers up to $2.5 million per system in tax incentives, and many counties in the state also offer credits or grants. Other states offer credits and grants as well.
- Increase the resale value significantly without adding to property tax liability
- Write off 100% depreciation in the first year
- Reduction in operating costs while electricity costs skyrocket throughout the country
- “Hedge” against the rising energy costs
- Promote your business’ efforts at going green
Business owners also have options to meet their needs, as Solar Energy World offers a type of “rent-to-own” option called “Power Purchase Agreements” or the ability to own your own system and fast-track MAXIMUM savings and earnings.
Remember, “Go green, save green!“