Construction was completed on a 1.75-MW rooftop community solar project that will serve nearly 300 households in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The Piscataway community solar installation is one of Solar Landscape’s 54 community solar projects in New Jersey. Installed, owned, and operated by Solar Landscape, the renewable energy project in Middlesex County is part of a 9.7-MW portfolio of 11 community solar projects hosted by Sudler Companies and GTJ REIT that will soon serve over 1,500 New Jersey homes, the majority of which will be low- to moderate-income (LMI) households.
The Piscataway project was approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in October 2021 and nearby residents can enroll now to receive discounted energy by the end of 2023.
“Community solar is a proven and efficient way to advance the clean energy transition,” said Shaun Keegan, CEO and co-founder of Solar Landscape. “New Jersey has created a model for community solar that demonstrates how valuable commercial rooftops can be as we transition away from fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable future that doesn’t use precious open space. By installing community solar projects on warehouses and large commercial buildings, we generate the power closer to where it will be used, reducing burden on the local grid and the need for additional transmission lines.”
In nearby Edison, Solar Landscape has partnered with Edison Job Corps to introduce its students to careers in solar installation.
“For nearly 60 years, Job Corps has assisted underserved populations with career preparation, career development and career transition,” said Tony Staynings, business community liaison, Edison Job Corps. “We’re excited that one of our students found a job with Solar Landscape and worked on this installation. His story and projects like this one in Piscataway underscore the urgent need for creating career pathways in clean energy.”
Community solar allows residents to subscribe to a nearby solar installation that is often hosted on a commercial property. Residents receive a credit for the electricity generated, with savings for low- to moderate-income households. The NJBPU’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, which is part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda, expands access to renewable energy for those who previously could not install solar panels for reasons such as high costs, lack of roof control or a shaded property.
“Community solar takes advantage of the historic opportunity to make sure our transition to a clean energy future is equitable, affordable, and accessible. Projects like these are a win-win to expand access to lower-cost clean energy and its related benefits to low-income families, who too often are on the frontlines of facing the worst impacts of climate change,” said Allison McLeod, senior policy director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
Through the New Jersey community solar program’s first two years in existence, Solar Landscape has 70 MW of solar energy built or under construction. The company currently owns and operates nine – representing about half – of New Jersey’s active community solar projects, making it the nation’s largest clean energy portfolio serving LMI households.
News item from Solar Landscape