Largest Solar Energy Site of its Kind in the Western Hemisphere to be Built in NJ
The McGraw-Hill Companies and NJR Clean Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, announced plans to build on McGraw-Hill's East Windsor, N.J., campus the largest privately owned, net-metered solar project in the Western Hemisphere. The 14.1-megawatt solar system will significantly offset the need for other energy sources to run McGraw-Hill's offices in East Windsor, including the corporation's growing data center. The clean, renewable energy produced by the project is expected to reduce the equivalent of about 10 percent of McGraw-Hill's annual global carbon emissions and significantly lower the company's long-term electricity costs.
"Our plan to use solar power underscores our commitment to green, sustainable business practices," said Harold McGraw III, chairman, pand CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies. "We are excited by the environmental benefits of using solar energy while helping us control costs, and we're thrilled to once again have a fantastic partner in the East Windsor community, which has served as a focal point of our operations for nearly five decades."
"To bring the largest privately-owned, net-metered solar system in the Western Hemisphere to New Jersey is an exciting opportunity," said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources. "Together with McGraw-Hill, we are making renewable energy, and the benefits it provides, a greater piece of our energy future. As a leader in the energy marketplace, NJRCEV will continue to look for new solar opportunities that are consistent with our core energy strategy and benefit our customers, company and state."
The solar array is expected to produce 18 million kWh annually, eliminating approximately 12,687 metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions from the atmosphere per year or the equivalent of removing the carbon dioxide emissions produced by approximately 2,488 cars. According to a study by Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy on the "Economic Impacts of Energy Infrastructure Investments," it is estimated that up to 294 jobs will be created as a result of this project.
Mayor Janice Mironov stated, "East Windsor is excited about McGraw-Hill's major initiative and the tremendous financial investment it represents in our township. The project will generate jobs, help green our environment and enhance the competitive attraction of East Windsor as a home for much of McGraw-Hill's prestigious operations. We value the company and this is a great signal of McGraw-Hill's commitment to remain, invest and grow in East Windsor."
NJRCEV will invest $60 million to develop and install the state-of-the-art, ground mount solar array on a 50-acre parcel on McGraw-Hill's property adjacent to the Corporation's two office buildings, including the Corporation's 180,000 square foot data center. The system will be installed by Advanced Solar Products of Flemington, NJ with assistance from MVM Advisors LLC of New York, NY. Advanced Solar Products' ballasted racking system, manufactured in New Jersey, requires no ground penetrations making it more environmentally-friendly and McGraw-Hill intends to plant approximately 25 acres of trees to surround the solar panels. In total, McGraw-Hill currently operates approximately 900,000 square feet of building space on the site.
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 around the world, including Standard & Poor's RatingsDirect; Connect, McGraw-Hill's popular teaching and learning platform for higher education; and Platts' price assessments for liquefied natural gas.
NJR expects that investments made by NJRCEV will qualify for a 30 percent federal investment tax credit. In addition, the energy produced will be eligible for Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), which can be sold to Load Serving Entities in New Jersey to meet their renewable energy requirements.
The system is expected to be completed in two phases, with 50 percent of the capacity expected operational in December 2011, and the remaining 50 percent in March 2012.
As a result of McGraw-Hill's recent business practices, the Corporation has been listed on the 2010 Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the FTSE4Good Index Series, and Newsweek's Green Rankings.
The solar installation at McGraw-Hill is the latest commercial project announced by NJRCEV. The company has already announced an investment of nearly $36 million in rooftop and ground mount solar systems in Monmouth and Middlesex counties with a capacity of 7.5 megawatts.