Connell Co. unveils one of largest solar parking lot canopy installations in N.J.

Project (9,158 panels) at Park in Berkeley Heights should produce enough electricity to power 560 homes for 30 years

The Connell Co. in Berkeley Heights last week celebrated the installation of one of the largest solar parking lot canopy installations in New Jersey.

The project consists of 9,158 solar panels affixed to parking canopies and on the rooftop of 100 Connell Drive, which houses the new innovation hub for Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions.

The panels cover approximately 1,500 parking spaces, including 38 electric vehicle charging stations, and 100,000 square feet of the building’s roof area. The installation is expected to generate roughly 4.9 million kilowatt-hours annually — the equivalent of enough carbon-free electricity to power 560 homes for the next 30 years.

The project is located within Connell’s the Park, a 185-acre work-life campus delivering a hospitality-centric solution to the traditional, multitenanted office.

The installation was completed by Brightcore Energy, an Armonk, New York, company that is a leading provider of end-to-end clean energy solutions to the commercial and institutional market.

About the Park

The Park, formerly known as Connell Corporate Park, is undergoing a $400 million repositioning to bring an urban energy and community to the suburbs. It is situated on a walkable, 185-acre campus with a 176-room Embassy Suites Hotel, 112,000-square-foot Life Time Fitness center and over 2.25 million square feet of Class A offices, flexible workspaces and collaborative lounges, including a large-scale, mixed-use residential and entertainment zone, all anchored by a hospitality, culinary and wellness culture. The Park is currently adding the District, which includes 328 apartments and 85,000 square feet of restaurants and entertainment retail, bringing the whole campus together into one vibrant destination.

About the Connell Co.

The Connell Co., founded in 1926, is one of the largest diversified, privately held corporations in the U.S. Since its inception, there have been four generations of the Connell family owning and directing the business. Over its 96-plus years in business, Connell has evolved from a commodities-based organization to a real estate and finance-based firm.

About Brightcore Energy

Brightcore Energy is a provider of end-to-end clean energy solutions to the commercial and institutional market, including commercial and community solar, high-efficiency renewable heating and cooling (geothermal), LED lighting and controls, electric vehicle charging, battery storage, smart building solutions and other emerging technologies.

Shane Connell, executive vice president of the Connell Co., said the project reflects the vision of the community.

“At the Park, we are constantly looking for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said. “Sustainability remains top of mind as we consider how to transform and improve the office experience in ways that not only lead to increased tenant and employee satisfaction, but also contribute to the greater good of our community.

“Brightcore has been an ideal energy service provider in cultivating a more green campus and we’re very proud to see this initiative come to fruition.”

In addition to the 100 Connell Drive solar installation, Brightcore also developed a second rooftop-mounted solar project at the Park’s 200 Connell Drive.

The company aims to help others dramatically reduce their reliance on fossil fuels through a comprehensive approach to both energy efficiency and clean energy resources.

Based on an assumed $0.10/kWh of utility avoided cost, Brightcore estimates the 100 Connell Drive project’s cost savings will translate to $496,843 annually — or more than $12.4 million over the system’s 25-year life cycle.

Brightcore President Mike Richter was thrilled to do the installation.

“We face enormous challenges today in terms of energy affordability, strain on the grid and, of course, climate disruption,” he said. “Connell is doing what they can to address these growing issues, and it matters. Hopefully, we can all take a cue from their leadership and become the change that we so desperately need.”