Pathmark Partners With Northern Power To Install PV Systems

March 19, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Northern Power, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., has been awarded a contract by Pathmark Stores, Inc. to provide three turnkey photovoltaic (PV) systems to Pathmark's Garwood, Elizabeth, and Lawnside, New Jersey, supermarkets. The turnkey systems, which will have a total capacity of 750kW, will be designed, built and commissioned by Northern Power in association with New Jersey-based BGA LLC Engineering.

The Northern Power contract is part of a series of Pathmark initiatives to help the environment, improve efficiencies, reduce cost and create growth opportunities through a transformation in energy practices. By deriving more of its power from grid-connected generation systems, Pathmark also aims to reduce its dependence on the electrical grid, improve system reliability, and ease its impact on the power infrastructure in its communities.

The design and efficiencies of Northern Power's turnkey PV systems are in compliance with the requirements of the New Jersey Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) and are expected to qualify for the NJCEP Customer Onsite Renewable Energy (CORE) rebate program, a financial incentive that would reduce Pathmark's cost by more than $2.5 million.

In addition to the rebate, the systems will also generate solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), which the state's utilities and other electric suppliers are required to purchase in order to comply with the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard. Northern Power will purchase the SRECs from Pathmark at a guaranteed price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for five years. The systems will also qualify for 30% federal investment tax credits and federal accelerated depreciation tax benefits.

"Pathmark is very excited about the overall value and benefits to our communities that will result from Northern Power's PV system," noted Steve Castracane, Energy Manager at Pathmark. "This strategic effort will provide reliable, renewable power to our Garwood, Elizabeth, and Lawnside facilities, while reinforcing Pathmark's continuing commitment to the environment."

"It is expected that electricity rates in New Jersey will rise in 2006, with the potential for additional increases in the years to come," Charles "Chach" Curtis, Vice President of on-site power at Northern Power noted. "By installing these PV systems and taking advantage of New Jersey rebates and SRECs they generate, Pathmark will be positioned to achieve financial returns, while creating a hedge against the rising cost of peak electricity rates."