Egg Harbor Township Middle School first to go Solar

[Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, NJ USA]

New Jersey municipal solar a bright spot for photovoltaic installations.

On Friday May 1, 2009, Fernwood Avenue Middle School was the first solar school commissioned by the Egg Harbor Township School District. “Egg Harbor Township schools turn on first solar grid” (with roof photo) by Michelle Lee covered the event for the Press of Atlantic City.

Well, I knew about this one since I visited the site in early April with one of my co-investigators who just happens to be an Assistant Principal in the Egg Harbor Township (EHT) School District. After all, the school is right down the road from the GUNTHER Portfolio Headquarters.

District Superintendent Dr. Scott McCartney was on hand for the switch flipping ceremony formality. The photovoltaic system is comprised of “more than 100 solar” modules producing an estimated 144000 kiloWatt-hours (kWh) of annual electricity and saving this school about $17000 per year while generating $70000 from SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate) sales. It appears the District expects to sell their 144 SRECs (1 SREC per 1000 kWh or 1 MegaWatt-hour of electricity generated) for a bit over $486.11 each. Historical SREC Pricing and Trading Statistics are shown here. In March 2009, the SREC Weighted Average Price reached a record $466.85.

After roof renovations by Berlin, New Jersey based D.A. Nolt Inc., the solar photovoltaic installation was completed by Akeena Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKNS). Last Wednesday’s “Akeena Solar Announces First Quarter 2009 Results” prompted “Akeena Solar: Q1 Revs Light; Q2 Guidance Below Ests” by Eric Savitz for Barron’s Tech Trader Daily.

Per The Press, solar panel installations by Ray Angelini, Inc. (please see their Energy Services/Solar projects ) should be completed in May at Alder Avenue Middle School and this summer at the newer Slaybaugh Primary and Davenport Primary schools. I know first hand material is already staged in trailers at one of these sites. Superintendent McCartney said: “Bids for the other schools will be sought next month.

EHT voters approved a bond offering in April 2008 for $27.9 million dollars to finance renovations for seven schools. Again per The Press: “About half of the money is being used for the roof renovations and solar-panel installation in six schools.” Superintendent McCartney said: “The solar-panel arrays are expected to help the district save about $1.2 million in utility costs and provide money from renewable energy certificates that can be used in future budgets.

My guess is the monitoring solution for the Fernwood Avenue Middle School students is provided by Fat Spaniel Technologies, Inc., but I was unable to get a response from Akeena on short notice.

Nearby, voters approved solar panels for the Mainland Regional High School District in April 2009 per “Voters reject Mainland budget but OK renovations, solar panels” by Jackie Hanusey for Shore News Today. School roof renovations and the solar installation will cost $6.3 million.

And per “4 area towns to get $1.1M. to improve energy use” by Daniel Walsh, Vineland, New Jersey, plans to invest $5 million in economic stimulus funds installing solar on about a dozen city buildings. Galloway Township is also going solar according to “Galloway moves forward on wind, solar energy projects” by Steve Prisament for The Current.

Ocean Twp. gets three proposals for landfill solar panels” by Lee Procida has Ocean Township, New Jersey, reviewing three solar proposals for a capped landfill site ranging from 1.5 to 5.63 MegaWatts.

The Press also had the scoop on the Atlantic City Convention Center photovoltaic installation with “Think solar. Think big: See and hear what gives Atlantic City solar project bragging rights” by Ben Leach.

It feels good to report about active solar investments by municipalities and schools in New Jersey and to hear stimulus funds are making their way to local governments.

One comment

  1. Teacher says:

    Hello Mr. Gunther,
    I’m a resident of EHT & a teacher in Atlantic City. I’m very pleased that EHT is moving forward w/solar. I’m very active w/environmental education w/my students. I was wondering, where do I begin to try and make this possible in Atlantic City? Do you know who my first contact would be? I would appreciate any help at all. Thanks

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