SUMMIT– Schering-Plough Corporation welcomed local and state officials, and a class of fifth graders, to celebrate the completion of a 1.7 megawatt solar energy system on Wednesday. With panels located atop seven buildings at the company’s Summit site, the system is one of the largest photovoltaic rooftop installations in New Jersey and North America. Chairman and CEO Fred Hassan symbolically activated the system by flipping a 6-foot light switch.
“Three years ago Schering-Plough initiated a global strategic energy management initiative to build a foundation for an energy-efficient future,” Hassan said. “This project is a major achievement of that initiative. It represents the achievement of three objectives – savings, sustainability and societal benefit – and significantly moves us closer to our goal of reducing energy use worldwide by as much as 10 percent by 2013.”
“Schering-Plough is to be commended for their responsible energy conservation efforts and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Garden State,” said Gov. Jon S. Corzine. “New Jersey has been a national leader in solar energy programs, and this private sector project is a fine complement to our own initiatives as we work to secure and strengthen the state’s energy future.”
“Energy programs like Schering-Plough’s set a high standard that helps New Jersey serve as a model for other states,” said Jeanne M. Fox, president, N.J. Board of Public Utilities. “The company has adopted policies consistent with Gov. Corzine’s Energy Master Plan, which has identified renewable energy and energy efficiency as major priorities in coming years.”
In conjunction with the activation proceedings, a class of fifth graders from Washington School in Summit participated in a hands-on lesson held in a newly designed eco-focused “green room.” Students learned about the science behind energy production and various ways to conserve resources
The rooftop solar system is owned and will be operated by PPL Renewable Energy, which will sell the power to Schering-Plough. It is anticipated that the system will provide up to 12 percent of the site’s peak energy needs and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1.3 million pounds each year, the equivalent to planting 123 acres of pine forest.
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