Solar energy plant completed in New Jersey

Baltimore-based Constellation Energy owns and will maintain the solar power systems. In return, the school district will purchase and receive all of the electricity generated by the solar panels at a fixed rate from Constellation Energy under a 15-year power purchase agreement. The solar power systems, comprised of approximately 5,785 roof-mounted photovoltaic panels, are expected to generate 42 percent of the district’s electricity needs.

Located at four Middle Township School District sites — Elementary No. 1, Elementary No. 2, Middle Township High School and the district’s Administration Building — the solar power systems are expected to generate 42 percent of the district’s electricity needs.

In honor of the solar generation project’s completion, a celebration and ribbon-cutting were held Wed., April 18 at Middle Township High School, in Court House. Students as well as representatives from Middle Township Public Schools, Constellation Energy, Smart Energy Capital, The Design Collaborative, Calvi Electric and elected officials were on hand for the event including Middle Township Mayor Dan Lockwood.

“The school district is excited about this solar project and our relationship with Constellation Energy,” said Mike Kopakowski, superintendent of Middle Township Public Schools. “Hosting solar generation provides many positive opportunities for our students and the community. In addition to energy cost savings and supporting the environment, the project serves as an educational resource, inspiring students to pursue academic and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

The solar power systems are comprised of approximately 5,785 roof-mounted photovoltaic panels. The project is expected to generate more than 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of approximately 1,331 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 261 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA data.

“Constellation Energy is pleased to support the Middle Township Board of Education in its commitment to renewable energy,” said Michael D. Smith, vice president of solar and efficiency sales for Constellation Energy. "During a time when many school districts are looking for ways to do more with less support, on-site solar generation helps keep electricity prices affordable. By structuring solar projects as power purchase agreements, we can provide energy solutions that require no upfront capital from customers and provide them with fixed power costs that are less than projected market rates.”