Sunday, November 21, 2010

NJ Paint Company Installs 1.7 Megawatt Solar Array

Baltimore-based Constellation Energy is nearing completion of a 1.7 megawatt solar power system for paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore.

The array will provide 68% of the electricity for Benjamin Moore’s 80,000 square foot product development center and testing laboratories in Flanders, New Jersey.

Constellation said the project would use 8,600 crystalline solar photovoltaic panels, making it one of the largest on-site solar installations in the state.

Power generation is expected to begin by the end of the year, with Constellation’s retail division selling power to the manufacturing company via a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Denis Abrams, chairman, president and CEO of Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, said: “We are embracing a commitment to renewable energy through our joint endeavor with Constellation Energy.

“We know that no one action or company will create the single solution to our energy needs. But this installation by Constellation Energy for Benjamin Moore, on our property, contributes to the overall global solution of sustainable energy resources that are sorely needed,” Mr Abrams added.

Once complete, the solar system is forecast to produce nearly 2,230,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

The terms of the power purchase agreement mean that Benjamin Moore will face no upfront capital costs for the solar array, which will be owned and maintained by Constellation.

The two companies said they are also exploring energy conservation measures that could help reduce the electricity consumption at the Flanders site, so that it could rely “almost exclusively” on the solar facility.

Michael D. Smith, senior vice president of green initiatives for Constellation Energy’s retail business, said: “”To make this work you need the vision, expertise, and commitment of companies like Benjamin Moore and Constellation Energy, combined with public support and the commitment of state, federal and local government leaders.”

Constellation said it worked with state and community authorities to develop the Flanders solar array. Local environmental regulations had to be amended to accommodate the project, it said.

The design of the project was also adjusted prior to construction, moving 1,500 solar panels from an open field to a parking lot structure, which will preserve more open space on Benjamin Moore’s land, and provide shade for parked vehicles.

The parking lot installation will also include recharging stations for electric vehicles, Constellation said.


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