The green news from the Garden State over the last year or so has been all about solar—on commercial buildings, schools and even atop landfills. New Jersey American Water, a company already sporting a solid solar portfolio, will be using solar to power its water treatment plant in Delran and its Mansfield well station in Burlington County. Together, these installations are expected to produce more than 2.2 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year.
Consisting of some 7,000 solar panels, the company’s installations at these two facilities are expected to help it get water to customers’ taps with less carbon expended, while also saving taxpayers cash over the long term. Of course, this much installed capacity does not come without some serious upfront costs: in the case of the Delran plant—which treats and distributes water to customers in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties—New Jersey American Water and its contractor ENERActive Solutions of Asbury Park have designed and are building a solar field of 3,565 panels at a cost of $7.7 million project, with expected completion in April.
Simultaneously, in Mansfield, New Jersey American Water and ENERActive have started in on a $7.1 million solar field consisting of 3,290 solar panels that will produce more than 1 million kWh of power per year. This project is expected to come online in June.
None of which is anything new for the company, as it garnered recognition over the last year for its floating solar array on a reservoir at the company’s Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Short Hills, N.J., the first of its kind on the East Coast built to withstand a freeze/thaw environment. (The plant is also home to the company’s “solar bee” mixers,which constantly circulate water in the reservoir to improve water quality.)
The company also owns one of the largest ground-mounted solar arrays on the East Coast—it’s located at its Canal Road Water Treatment Plant in Somerset, and generates nearly 20 percent of the plant’s power.