ELIZABETH – This week, Glimcher Realty Trust announced the completion of a 4.8-megawatt SunPower rooftop solar system at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth. The project, which is among the largest rooftop systems in North America, broke ground in June 2011 and began producing power this week.
The rooftop solar system is comprised of more than 15,000 high efficiency SunPower panels, and generates approximately the amount of power required for 564 New Jersey homes. It is expected to generate the equivalent of 11 percent of the mall’s electrical demand.
Anchored by tenants like Gap Outlet, H&M, Lord & Taylor Outlet, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nike Factory Store and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Jersey Gardens is the largest outlet mall in New Jersey. The mall was built by Glimcher Realty Trust in 1999 on the site of a former landfill.
“There has been a significant commitment to collaboration by all of the entities involved in this project as well as the City of Elizabeth, which is evidenced by the completion of the project in just seven months,” said Marshall Loeb, president and COO, Glimcher Realty Trust.
The solar power system at Jersey Gardens was made possible through a partnership with Gerding Edlen Development, Inc. and Gerding Edlen Sustainable Solutions.
According to Christina Skellenger of Gerding Edlen, “We are excited to see this monumental project come to fruition.”
This project is the result of a power purchase agreement between Glimcher Realty Trust and Clean Focus Corporation. Under the agreement, Clean Focus financed and owns the system. All solar renewable energy credits and environmental benefits associated with the system will be owned by Clean Focus. Jersey Gardens will buy the electricity at a predetermined, predictable price, providing a long-term hedge against rising power prices with no initial capital investment.
“This project is a perfect example of how working with the right partners can create a model for success. Because of the experience our partners — Glimcher Realty Trust, Gerding Edlen, SunPower, and PSEG — we were able to successfully work through the challenges of installing a very large solar project on the mall’s rooftop. We are pleased to be a part of a comprehensive sustainability program at the mall,” said Stanley Chin, president and CEO of Clean Focus.
The Jersey Gardens solar system was designed and installed by SunPower Corp., which will also operate and maintain the system. The system uses the SunPower®T5 Solar Roof Tile, which is the solar industry’s first non-penetrating rooftop product that combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single, pre-engineered unit. Tilted at a 5-degree angle, the system will approximately double the energy generated per square meter compared to other systems that are mounted flat onto commercial rooftops.
“Only with SunPower high efficiency technology is the Jersey Gardens roof accommodating this 4.8-megawatt system, which will reliably generate power over the long term, maximizing savings on monthly electricity costs,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. “We applaud our project partners for their leadership in installing this significant system, and helping New Jersey meet its renewable energy goals.”
The Jersey Gardens solar system was financed in part by the Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) Solar Loan Program. The Solar Loan Program can help qualified PSE&G electric customers finance from 40 to 60 percent of the total cost of their solar system. The loan can be re-paid using Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) generated by the solar system, with a minimum value for each credit guaranteed by PSE&G.
“We’re always happy to see one of our solar loan projects in service,” said Al Matos, vice president – renewables and energy solutions for PSE&G. “But it’s particularly rewarding when we can help finance one of the largest rooftop solar systems in North America at a premier location like Jersey Gardens.”
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