RWE SCHOTT Solar Inc. (RSS, Rocklin, CA), a manufacturer and distributor of solar-electric modules and photovoltaic (PV) systems, reported that New Jersey American Water (NJAW, Lawrenceville, NJ) will soon install the state's largest ground-mounted solar-electric system at its Canal Road Water Treatment Plant in Somerset, NJ, as part of the company's energy savings initiatives. The 500 kW ground-mounted system will be designed and built by Dome-Tech Solar, a solar energy firm serving industrial and institutional clients in the northeast, and will include more than 2,800 solar panels from RWE SCHOTT Solar.
New Jersey American Water expects that it will be able to supplement 15 percent of the peak usage power needed to run the plant with solar energy, and save approximately $125,000 a year in reduced energy costs. During peak production periods, the electricity produced by the solar system would be enough to meet the average electricity demand of more than 500 homes. The target date for completion of the installation is early spring, 2005. The pilot program could lead to the use of solar energy at other American Water plants.
"What we’ve invested over the last several years in making our facility more energy efficient, and what we are investing now in this solar system, will continue to reduce our energy consumption. These investments will result in reduced energy expenses," said New Jersey American Water Project Delivery Manager Scott Connor.