Sunday, October 21, 2012

Leaders Break Ground On Solar Farm At Brownfield Site In Hackensack

Governor Christie gave his endorsement on July 31 to a PSEG plan to transform a brownfield site into a solar farm as part of the utility's Solar 4 All project.

PSEG will install the solar farm at a six-acre property on South River Street that was Hackensack Gas Works' former site.

Christie, PSEG executives and other state and local leaders gathered at the site to formally break ground on the project.

"We're one of the leaders of solar energy across the country," said Christie. "We're the number two state in the country in solar energy produced, only behind California. Over one percent of our electricity in the state now comes from solar energy and that's a significant improvement."

PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo said his company will request that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approve a $883 million investment to expand the Solar 4 All project — a move the governor said he supports.

"Solar energy is a wonderful way to return this site to productive use," Izzo said of the project in Hackensack. "This is a fitting occasion to recognize the governor's leadership in fostering the development of more renewal energy sources in New Jersey – including innovative approaches such as solar installations on brownfields and landfills."

Izzo also discussed the future goals of building more solar units on warehouse roofs and parking lots throughout New Jersey.

The expansion is expected to create 300 direct jobs per year for the next five years, according to PSEG.

This brownfield site project is expected to be completed by October, officials said, with J. Fletcher Creamer & Sons as the contractor.

When complete, the solar farm will generate enough grid-connected solar electricity to power more than 200 average-size homes each year and return a vacant lot to a useful role, according to officials.

PSEG is involved in 22 similar efforts to create solar farms on roofs and other locations across the state.

Christie said it would provide jobs for union laborers, many of whom were in attendance and flanked the governor at the press conference.

"It is a win for everybody," said Christie. "It is a win for labor unions who will be working on the site, it's a win for private sector businesses ... It's a win by PSE&G. It's also a win for the Governor of New Jersey partnering with folks to get these kinds of things done."


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