Greenskies on Tuesday said it partnered with Vanguard Energy Partners, a national solar construction firm, to construct a new solar array on land adjacent to the Raritan Valley Community College Workforce Training Center in North Branch.
RVCC signed a power purchase agreement with Greenskies to purchase the power generated by the array at a low, fixed rate for the next 15 years. As a result, the two-story, 44,000 square-foot WTC is now fully powered by 725 bifacial modules, producing up to 386 Megawatt hours (MWh) per year of clean, renewable energy. In addition to powering the WTC, the system is configured for remote net metering, allowing it to power other buildings on the RVCC campus.
“This project received the first remote net metering approval in New Jersey. The College wanted to install a solar array to provide its students with practical hands-on learning experience. However, the installation site was at a new facility with low electricity usage,” Pete Osowski, VP Technical Business Development stated.
Over the term, that energy will offset 4,110 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the equivalent of taking more than 883 gas-powered cars off the road or preserving 4,860 acres of forest. (Source: US EPA Greenhouse Gas Calculator)
“This project is a win for the College and the environment,” Stanley Chin, president and CEO of Greenskies said. “Our colleges shouldn’t have to decide between rising electricity prices, expanding educational opportunities to their students, or making good on sustainability commitments. All three are important for the future of our communities.”
The RVCC campus now houses three solar arrays, in addition to other eco-conscious efforts like publicly available electric car charging stations, two green roofs and a green wall, numerous pollinator gardens, a rain garden, three rainwater harvesting systems, and four LEED Certified buildings. The College also produces a significant part of its electrical needs via a gas-powered 1.4 Megawatt combined heat and power plant.
The RVCC Workforce Training Center is the latest building on campus to achieve LEED Certification. As a renewable energy source, this solar array helped the RVCC WTC achieve a perfect score in the Energy and Atmosphere category for green power. The College is nationally recognized, year after year, for its sustainability initiatives.