sunny landscape has begun construction on two community solar projects in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Installations will begin less than three weeks after the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved the second year of Community Solar Pilot Program projects on Oct. 28.
This week, Solar Landscape begins installing solar panels on Endurance Real Estate Group’s warehouses that will generate nearly 2.2 MWDC of renewable energy. That energy will then be available to nearly 350 homes in the Mount Laurel area, and 51% of all solar subscribers in the community will be low- to middle-income households.
The two projects are part of Solar Landscape’s 46-Project Community Solar Pilot Program Year Two portfolio, which will generate 51 MW of solar energy for New Jersey households.
For Mount Laurel Mayor Stephen Steglik, the new installation of solar panels at two locations in the municipalities will benefit residents, businesses and educational institutions in the area.
“We are proud to welcome this community solar project on Mount Laurel,” said Steglik. “Community solar is a new and exciting way to promote clean energy equity. Now our residents can use affordable renewable energy regardless of their home ownership or socioeconomic status. More importantly, this will bring jobs to the area while also giving our educational institutions a chance to introduce their students to the clean energy workers.”
Endurance Real Estate Group saw the community’s solar project as an opportunity to be a good neighbor and pursue its environmental stewardship goals.
“By leasing our rooftops for community solar, we can provide affordable clean power to our buildings neighbors and be a catalyst for change,” said Albert J. Corr, senior VP at Endurance Real Estate Group. “Across the commercial real estate sector, environmental and sustainability issues are now part of our bottom line. We are proud to be part of the state revolution in clean energy through community sun.”
In the community solar model, residents subscribe to the use of solar energy generated by the nearby solar panels. Most of Solar Landscape’s solar projects are installed on the roofs of large warehouses, such as Endurance Real Estate Group.
Solar Landscape partners with local non-profit organizations, such as Sustainable South Jersey, to educate local residents about solar in the community and encourage them to subscribe for a 20-25% discount on their monthly electric bill.
“Community solar is an easy way for those without solar panels – or roofs – to get 100% renewable energy and save money too,” said Ed Cohen, chairman of the board of Sustainable South Jersey. “Sustainable South Jersey is proud to partner with Solar Landscape to help local residents in the Mount Laurel area to subscribe and start their savings.”
As part of its solar community program, Solar Landscape is working with nonprofits and community partners to train dozens of New Jersey residents to install solar panels on rooftops during week-long training sessions across the state. That work earned Kate Gold, Solar Landscape’s director of community engagement, the “Top Solar Changemaker” designation from Solar Power World.
“We are grateful to be working with the leadership of Mount Laurel Township, Endurance Real Estate and our non-profit partners such as Sustainable South Jersey to bring community solar to Mount Laurel,” said Shaun Keegan, CEO of Solar Landscape . “Less than three weeks ago, this project and more than 40 other solar installations in the community were approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and we are moving forward rapidly.”
Solar Landscape also partners with community colleges, technical schools and nonprofits in New Jersey to introduce schoolchildren and students to the potential of working in the solar industry as part of the Green Ambassador program. Most recently, Solar Landscape and nonprofit Sustainable Jersey City awarded $20,000 in scholarships to high school students through the Community Sustainability Challenge scholarships.
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