Over at Cooler Planet, they have an article about New Jersey going even greener:
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has approved the construction of three out of 59 vital sewer system and drinking water infrastructure projects for the tri-county area made possible by the state’s $840 million package of federal and state aid.
The first so far approved is Mount Laurel’s Municipal Utility Authority, which is ready to initiate the bidding process on an estimated $5.3-million project that will put solar panels on the township’s main wastewater pumping station and drinking water well off Ramblewood Parkway.
Because the project will be bonded with federal stimulus money, half the loan doesn’t need to be repaid. The other half, borrowed at a low-market rate of 1.2 percent over 20 years (the most recent quote) through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, means that the loan will virtually pay for itself in terms of energy savings over the course of the next eight years.
An additional $300,000 a year in RECs (renewable energy credits), sold to electricity supplier Public Service Enterprise Group to meet its state-mandated renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 22.5 percent by 2021 (2.12 percent of that strictly from solar), will be the icing on the cake.
Here’s how it will work and how much they will save:
Power for the wastewater treatment station, which handles 20 percent of the municipality’s wastewater, and the well – which provides about 15 percent of the drinking water – will be provided via a system of ground mounted solar panels delivering 529 kilowatts whose installation will save the community about $90,000 in electricity costs.
According to Mount Laurel’s Municipal Utility Authority (MUA) Executive Director Pam Carolan, the use of the solar panels to provide electricity means that, over a year, the amount of electricity purchased from Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) will be zero.
And it’s not just one town that is working to move in the direction of using more renewable energy for their services:
The project is only one of many in the works, as other municipalities and towns like Camden, Camden County, Deptford and Bordentown City consider their own sewer system and drinking water projects for solar upgrades’s recent initiative to install solar power units on 200,000 utility poles in PSE&G’s service territory, which includes New Jersey’s six largest cities and roughly 300 rural and suburban communities – a project being billed as the largest pole-attached solar installation in the world – and you have a major case of greening that extends beyond the state’s reputation for truck farms delivering produce to Pennsylvania to the west and New York to the north.
And that’s on top of the nation’s largest rooftop solar project that we talked about earlier this week. And we also wrote about M & M’s going green in Morristown. And then there was this NY Times story from a year ago that explained why New Jersey was a leader:
Most of the efforts so far are in California, New Jersey and Connecticut, states that offer generous incentives. Executives say they would like to convert many more. How quickly they can do so depends on government policy because retailers rely on tax incentives to offset the cost.
I’m sure that Governor Corzine and his policies had nothing to do with any of this development and increase in the use of solar energy. That’s probably why we haven’t seen releases praising these developments, merely statements that criticizing other areas. There’s always more to do, but it’s not like we’re not doing anything in this state as people are being led to believe.