Clean Energy

Verona Goes Solar

Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used. Sunlight can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly with concentrating solar power (CSP). Photovoltaic production has been doubling every 2 years, increasing by an average of 48 percent each year since 2002, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology.

What exactly is a RPS?

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are laws that require utilities to use renewable energy for a certain percentage of their generating capacity.

What about REC and SREC?

If a utility can not comply with the RPS schedule through its own facilities it is allowed to purchase a REC “Renewable Energy Credit” or a SREC “Solar Renewable Energy Credit” from another generator of renewable or solar renewable energy.

A REC equals to One MWh ("megawatt hour") of power generated in the course of one year from the renewable source.  So for example, a home owner or business that generates 3 MWh per year from solar power could sell three SRECs to the utility.

How Solar Installations Started in Verona?

Prout Funeral Home’s system is the first solar installation in Verona.
  • The system consists of 114 solar photovoltaic panels on the roof and 6 inverters, for a 17.4 kilowatt system.
  • In a second phase a solar fence (8.28 kilowatt system) was installed.
  • Part of the project was the installation of an educational display in a public area of the Home.
  • Beyond the environmental benefits are the educational opportunities such as tours given to school children from Verona.
  • Prout Funeral Home was recognized as the winner of the 2007 New Jersey Clean Energy Small Business Leader, a new category for the Clean Energy Leadership Awards.
For more information on Prout Funeral Home’s solar electric system visit their new website .

How did the Township Go Solar?

Spearheaded by Councilmember Jay Sniatkowski, Verona received an initial $650,000 grant to pursue its solar panel project three years ago.

The township was approved for three sites: the wastewater treatment plant, the Verona Community Center and the municipal garage. According to Lab Manager Tim Newton the total project cost $633,923, and Verona received $327,802, or 52 % of the cost, in rebates.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant

  • It cost $279,923 to install 170 fixed panels as part of a system rated for generating 33.2 kilowatts per hour.
  • The panels were weighed down instead of bolted to the roof and were fixed in place to capture the maximum amount of light throughout the day.
  • It came online in August 2007.
  • The wastewater treatment plant’s pumps use lots of energy, so the township could install more panels at the site.

Verona Community Center

  • It cost $244,000 to set up 154 panels at the Verona Community Center.
  • The 30.8 kilowatt per hour system came online in October 2007.

The Township Garage

  • Verona placed 14-kilowatt system of 70 solar panels on the township garage roof for $110,000.
  • The intent was not to build a solar farm but to reduce energy cost.
  • It began generating power also in October 2007.
The panels themselves are rated to generate 195 to 200 watts per hour adding that they weigh 35 to 45 pounds and are essentially maintenance-free.

Pictures:
1-Solar panel detail
2-Verona Community Center
3-Wastewater Treatment Plant
4-Prout Funeral Home
5-Prout Funeral Home solar fence
6-Township Garage
7-Wastewater Treatment Plant

Solar Domestic Water Pilot Program

Save money and help the environment by using less fossil fuel!
A solar domestic water heating system is a reliable and efficient alternative for heating your water.  It can provide a significant portion of your home’s water-heating needs.

Incentive Levels and Qualifying Models
A $1,200 incentive is now available to New Jersey residents with gas or electric water heating that install a solar domestic water system to replace or supplement their existing system.

READ MORE

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SRECs sold by Verona

So far Verona’s three systems have produced a total of 102,461 kilowatt hours and saved 174,184 carbon units, or 87 tons of CO2.
  • During the 2007-2008 energy year, which runs from June to May, Verona sold SRECs at $262.50.
  • During the 2008-2009 year, we are getting $600 per SREC.
According to Newton the renovated Verona Community Pool bathhouse could support solar panels, as well as the Linn Drive Annex Building.

The township is also considering bio-gas technology derived from the methane produced at the waste water treatment plant. The solar program could pay for itself in fewer than 10 years.

Where can I buy renewable energy?

You can purchase renewable energy without switching electricity suppliers. Under the Clean Power Choice Program, residential and business customers can enroll by checking a box on their utility bills and selecting from among renewable energy products offered by four marketers: Community Energy, Green Mountain Energy Company, Jersey-Atlantic Wind, and Sterling Planet. For more information call the New Jersey Clean Power Choice Program at 1-866-NJSMART.





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