New Jersey Celebrates Rider University Solar Farm
New Jersey celebrated the launch of a new solar farm at this week’s ribbon cutting ceremony at Rider University. RGS Energy, formerly Alteris Renewables, recently commissioned the university’s 0.74 megawatt (MW) solar installation. The ground mounted solar array, located on a 3.2 acre field on the Mercer County, NJ campus, is comprised of 2,640 solar panels.
The pv system is grid-tied, so the power is not only utilized by the university, but is used by the local community as well. The solar panels are expected to produce enough energy to supply power for about 125 homes.
PSE&G, the local utility provider, owns the pv system and provides the university with a leasing agreement. The university will earn income depending upon how much energy the solar array produces.
“The Rider University solar project 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. “Solar 4 All lease payments can unlock the value of unused parcels of land like this one while also creating good jobs, helping solar-related businesses take root and developing the New Jersey solar market in a cost effective way.”
Andew Kern, Director of Project Development for Alteris’ NJ commercial solar program, was a guest speaker during the ribbon cutting ceremony. He explained “as an alumni I was personally invested in working with my alma mater to bring this project to fruition. The solar installation will benefit the University and its community for years to come.”
The new 740 kW solar installation is one of the university’s many green initiatives that include food waste and techno-trash recycling, a bee hive and a community garden. “This project further demonstrates Rider’s continuing commitment to sustainability as well as the spirit of collaboration with other green organizations such as PSE&G,” said Mike Reca, Rider’s Associate Vice President for Facilities and Auxiliary Services. “It is also important for our local and regional community to develop and utilize energy alternatives such as solar power.”