The Environmental Commission and the Department of Public Utilities or Engineering Department should lead and be involved with this tool.

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1 Solar Energy Demonstration Project For more information, see The sun s rays are a 100% clean and renewable source of energy, and solar (along with wind), are the two fastest-growing sources of renewable energy in the U.S. 1 A range of solar technologies capture energy from the sun for electricity or heating. Solar photovoltaic (PT) panels, in particular, transform solar radiation into electricity and are appropriate for many types of public facilities, including schools and municipal buildings. In 2006 New Jersey showed the highest percentage increase in solar installations in the country. 2 In the last seven years, over 3,300 locations across the state have installed solar technology, providing a combined capacity of over 60,000 kilowatts. Solar power is more economically viable than ever before with continuing technological improvements, lower equipment costs, faster payback times, net metering, renewable energy credits, and other financial incentives. Who should lead and be involved with this tool? The Environmental Commission and the Department of Public Utilities or Engineering Department should lead and be involved with this tool. Timeframe The time frame to implement this tool is a year or more. 1 U.S. Dept. of Energy, Electric power and renewable energy in New Jersey, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy State Activities and Partnerships, June 25, 2008; 2 U.S. Dept. of Energy, New Jersey increases its renewable energy requirement, State Energy Program, Apr. 19, 2006; 1

2 Significant lead time, at least six months, will be necessary to order photovoltaic equipment. Project Costs and Resource Needs Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology costs about $6-10 per watt of capacity and can be implemented on any scale. While generation varies depending on the favorability of conditions, each kilowatt of capacity can produce approximately 1100 to 1300 kwh per year. For example, a 15-kW PV system would produce about 18,000 kwh per year and require an investment of approximately $120,000. Extensive solar investment for multiple municipal buildings or schools ranges from $4 to $20 million. Why is it important Solar power saves money. Investment in solar technology generates longterm cost savings through reductions in energy purchases. Solar technologies reduce the community s carbon footprint. By displacing energy from fossil fuel sources, the use of solar energy reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Solar power offers educational opportunities. A demonstration solar installation will complement community energy education and may be incorporated into local school curricula. Solar technology can be adopted by homeowners or businesses. A demonstration of solar technology on a public facility highlights the viability of sustainable technologies and encourages the installation of solar on local homes and businesses. For a 5-kW solar-electric system that will offset the energy of a conventional home, costs are about $40, At least six months of lead time are needed for panel ordering and permit approvals. Purchase and installation of a home solar hot water system costs about $6,000 and takes only a few days once permits and materials have been secured. Solar energy use raises the municipality s green profile. Solar technology is a visible expression of the community s commitment to sustainability. A solar energy installation helps to brand the municipality as innovative and forward-thinking. Raising the green profile is one component of attracting green jobs and sustainable economic development. 3 New Jersey s Clean Energy Program, How much will my solar electric system cost?, Costs, Incentives, and Savings, accessed Jan. 2009; 2

3 What to do, and how to do it ( How to ) 1. Appoint a staff member to coordinate initial planning for a solar energy system. Solar PV systems are modular and can be installed in any size to offset electricity purchases. Site Selection and Assessment: 2. For any new construction projects being planned, direct the project architects to include solar technology in the building design. 3. With input from municipal departments, identify potential locations for solar technology. Solar PV systems can be retrofitted to many existing structures as equipment can be mounted on roofs, carports, building facades, or at ground level. A suitable location receives direct sunlight with no shading. Ideally the solar installation has southern exposure. Engineering consultants can be hired for system design and to provide advice on appropriate systems. The local electric utility also should be contacted for planning, technical, and financial assistance. 4. Financing: Contact the local electric utility and the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to determine availability of incentive programs. (Also see link for Funding in the Resources section). 5. Design and Construction: Design for a solar system can be provided by engineering consultants. Contractors will be needed for installation. New Jersey s Clean Energy Program website (See Resources section) provides a directory of manufacturers, distributors, and installers of solar equipment. Issue bid specifications to area contractors, order system components, and schedule construction. Significant lead time, at least six months, will be necessary to order PV equipment. 6. Solar Energy Outreach and Education: Municipalities are encouraged to adopt a solar access ordinance to facilitate the spread of solar technology throughout the community. Other educational and outreach initiatives may include: Educational signage about solar technology posted in the building receiving the energy. Integrating renewable energy and solar technology to school curricula. Tours, lectures, or training workshops about solar power. Project profile and solar resources on the municipality s website. Brochures about solar energy for homeowners or businesses. Profile of solar project in newsletter for residents. Outreach partnerships with businesses related to solar energy. 3

4 Incorporate solar technology to a green job training program. What to submit to get credit/points To obtain credit, install a solar system on a municipal site and include solar energy in at least one related educational or outreach initiative. While this toolkit focuses on photovoltaic panels, other technologies such as solar hot water-heating systems would also qualify. Submit project documentation. SPOTLIGHT: What NJ towns are doing Woodbridge Township Solar electric panels will be installed on six municipal building rooftops, ranging in cost from $67,460 - $1,294,920 per facility. Totaling $7 million, the project is being financed by $2.4 million in rebates from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Clean Energy Program along with municipal bonds. The investment is expected to pay off in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewableenergy/programs/solar-renewable-energy-certificates-srec/overview/overview) of up to $400,000 per year and over $100,000 per year in reduced energy purchased from the utility. The photovoltaic systems are expected to generate over 900,000 kilowatt hours of power annually. Toms River Regional Schools Solar panels were installed on all school district buildings in 2005 and are generating energy in excess of the building needs. Each year the district saves $650,000 in energy costs and makes $1,000,000 selling the extra solar energy back to the utility company. The $20 million project was financed with $7.2 million from the BPU, $7 million in state school construction grants, and interest-free federal loans. 4, 5 Resources General resources Funding: U.S. Department of Energy 4 F. Silverman, Schools find green is paying off, New York Times, Oct. 10, 2008; 5 Toms River Regional Schools, Solar powered budget, 2007; 4

5 New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Solar renewable energy certificates (SREC) : see website for current trading value (typically between $ ). Purchase On-site Renewable Energy - The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) provides financial incentives for renewable energy projects (solar, wind, bio-power) through its Customer On-Site Renewable Energy Rebate Program. For information on how to participate go to: PSE&G Solar Loan Program Solar Photovoltaic Financing: Deployment on Public Property by State and Local Governments This technical report provides information on municipal financing for solar equipment, including details on a variety of bonds and third-party ownership strategies. cing_deployment_on_public_property_by_state_and_local_government s.pdf Education/Training Resources: New Jersey s Clean Energy Program: Solar Transition National Renewable Energy Laboratory Solar America Cities: Resources Case Studies: Bayonne Board of Education 10,000 panels with a combined rated capacity of 2 megawatts were installed in 2006 using BPU equipment and installation credits. The $13.2 million project is expected to generate savings of $500,000 per year in electricity bills and, at the time of construction, became the largest 5

6 combined PV installation on the East Coast with solar panels on the high school and 8 elementary schools. Highland Park Solar panels were installed on Highland Park s borough hall using financial incentives from the Board of Public Utilities. The system generates one fourth of the building s energy needs. Ocean City The Ocean City Municipal Solar Energy Power Project is a $4 million solar system that will produce 550,000 kilowatt hours of energy and will include roof mounts on four municipal facilities. The installation is expected to offset around 17% of the electricity used for city buildings. Atlantic County Solar ray.pdf General Resources for Solar Energy technology: NJ Clean Energy Program: Finding a Vendor American Solar Energy Society Solar Electric Power Association 6

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