In late 2008, the Township received the final Energy Conservation Audit Report and Solar Feasibility Study from Eneractive Solutions, who were contracted to review the municipal/police complex located at Wheatsworth Road relative to energy needs and opportunities and provide the Township with their recommendations for efficiency and savings.
The report strongly advocated for the development of a solar energy generating facility to be installed over a parking canopy. The financial data outlining expected savings over the facility’s anticipated useful life revealed an opportunity to save several hundred thousand dollars in energy costs.
The project was engineered and designed and construction commenced in the fall of 2009. The 75-kilowatt PV array was installed atop a solar support structure that simultaneously serves as as a carport for the police department’s vehicles. The solar system is comprised of 324 modules and will generate approximately 77,196 kWh per year or approximately 25% of the building’s need for electricity.
The system went on line in March of 2010, and is out-pacing projections and is providing an aggregate annual total of about 30% of the municipal complex’s energy needs. Solar renewable energy credit sales have met expectations and targeted savings have been realized. Based upon projected revenue and savings, the facility should realize a total of approximately $1.2M for the Township over a 15 year period. The total cost of its design and development was approximately $650,000. Since the Township had recently paid off an earlier bond issue for prior years’ municipal improvements, the debt for the facility replaced the prior debt with no noticeable change to the Township’s overall debt or annual debt service payment – resulting in a negligible change to the municipal tax rate.
The system utilizes Noveda Technology’s SunFlow Monitor, a real-time, online energy monitoring system that will track the facilities’ power consumption, solar production and system efficiency. The Township has also provided the Hardyston Middle School with a monitor screen, located in the lobby area where the SunFlow system can be viewed and utilized as an educational tool for students to understand how much energy is being produced and consumed and where the energy is coming from.
The links to the real-time system below below will give residents an opportunity to view current solar energy generation, cost savings, revenue generation and energy usage data 24/7.