OFFICIALS CELEBRATE COMPLETION OF ONE OF NEW JERSEY’S LARGEST PITCHED ROOF SOLAR SYSTEMS
Trenton, N.J. (Oct. 21, 2009) – State and local officials today celebrated the completion of one of the largest pitched roof solar electric systems in New Jersey at Fellowship Village Retirement Community in Basking Ridge. The panels, installed by Millstone-based Absolutely Energized Solar, are expected to reduce 900,000 pounds of CO2 each year and protect more than 250 acres of trees annually.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently assisted Absolutely Energized Solar under the Main Street Business Assistance Program. Fellowship Village also received EDA assistance to support the solar panel installation. Governor Jon Corzine recently announced that New Jersey has reached 100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy installed, a ten-fold increase since 2006. As a result, the Garden State now has the most solar installations in the country per square mile, surpassing California by nearly two to one.
“New Jersey is dedicated to supporting small business growth and promoting a more secure and environmentally responsible energy future for the state,” said Caren Franzini, chief executive officer of the EDA. “This project helps to advance both of these goals and will also ensure that the Garden State continues to lead the way in solar power. We congratulate Absolutely Energized Solar and Fellowship Village on this significant milestone.”
Fellowship Village is a nonprofit continuing care retirement community located on 72 acres in Basking Ridge. The community offers a continuum of care that includes independent living, assisted living, nursing and rehabilitation, and respite care. The 668kW solar electric system at Fellowship Village includes over 3,000 solar panels and covers more than 40-percent of the community’s rooftops. Fellowship estimates that the system will reduce electrical consumption by 14-percent and produce savings of more than $5 million over the life of the solar panels.
“We are very proud to have the distinction of implementing one of the largest arrays of pitched roof residential panels in New Jersey,” said Brian G. Lawrence, president and chief executive officer of Fellowship Village. “With the help of the state and the excellent work of Absolutely Energized Solar, Fellowship is able to provide a better environment to live and work.”
Absolutely Energized Solar is a licensed electrical contracting company that has spent the past seven years devoted to developing and installing solar electrical systems for high end residential, commercial and industrial markets. To date, the company’s installations include some of the larger projects on the East Coast totaling over 7MW, or enough power to run approximately 900 homes. According to company President Dan Lichtman, installing solar electric systems is a capital intensive business and the company’s financial strength and ability to borrow money is paramount to its capacity to continue growing and installing large solar electric systems like the one recently installed at Fellowship Village. Lichtman also said that the recent financing allowed Absolutely Energized Solar to purchase materials for a second large project in South Kearney in time to have the company’s crews move directly from one project to the next.
“Thanks in part to the lending abilities supported by the Main Street Business Assistance Program, our company is able to provide higher levels of employee training and maintain full-time, year-round crews,” said Lichtman. “In turn, our employees are rewarded with steady employment and reliable pay checks. It’s a win – win for everyone involved and we are thrilled to have completed this great project at Fellowship Village.”
The goal of Governor Jon Corzine’s Energy Master Plan for New Jersey is to reduce energy consumption by 20-percent and generate at least 30-percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020. The EDA, in conjunction with the BPU and the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection, recently launched Clean Energy Solutions, a suite of financing and incentive programs to further support the goals of the Energy Master Plan.
The Main Street Business Assistance Program enables qualified small and mid-size businesses and nonprofit organizations in New Jersey to access capital by providing state support for bank lending through loan participations and credit enhancements. The program is one of several critical initiatives established under Governor Corzine’s Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan to aid businesses during the national recession. Developed in partnership with the New Jersey departments of Banking and Insurance and Treasury and the state’s banking community, the Main Street program has been funded by a $50-million state appropriation. To qualify, borrowers must be in business at least two years, maintain jobs in New Jersey and meet other EDA eligibility requirements.
The EDA is a state financing and development agency that works to strengthen New Jersey’s economy by retaining and growing businesses through financial assistance, by renewing communities, and by promoting the state’s strategic advantages to attract domestic and international business.
Businesses interested in learning more about all Clean Energy Solutions opportunities and assistance under the Main Street Business Assistance Program should visit www.njeda.gov . To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov.