$2.6M in Stimulus to Fund Solar Farm for Conservation School

New Jersey School of Conservation will install a 300,000-watt solar array to power the school and lower its carbon footprint.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has awarded the New Jersey School of Conservation (NJSOC), Montclair State University’s environmental education and field research campus, a $2.65 million grant as part of a competitive program for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at state facilities.

The school will now be abel to install a 300,000-watt solar farm that will meet all of the facility's electricity needs as well as generate excess power for use by local utilities.

The solar farm, which is expected to be operational in late 2011, will be comprised of 1,400 200-watt modules on a half-acre tract site within NJSOC. The solar arrays will feed into a bank of 24 Solectric inverters that will convert the DC electricity into AC electricity and feed into the facility’s main circuit breaker panels.

“We anticipate that the proposed installation of the ‘solar farm’ will serve as a sustainability showcase and generate high interest in solar energy among the over 9,000 students and teachers that visit the NJSOC each year,” said William H. Thomas, Ph.D., NJSOC director. “It will also promote the training of undergraduate and graduate students, expand the number of on-site courses offered by Montclair State, and create research opportunities in keeping with regional priorities for open space, clean energy generation, and biodiversity in the most densely populated state in the nation,” Thomas added.

The grant is funded with federal stimulus money allocated to New Jersey's State Energy Program (SEP) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Source: Montclair State University

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