Rutgers University in New Jersey now boasts the largest solar energy system in the nation after the installation of a new 32-acre solar canopy over two large parking lots near Rutgers Athletic Center, providing covered parking while helping to power the campus. Approved by the university’s Board of Governors in May 2011, the $40 million system increases Rutgers’ solar energy generation to nearly ten megawatts of power and provides energy to help meet around 63% of the Livingston campus’ total power needs.
“Because of the subsidies that are in the state of New Jersey and the federal credits that are available it became a no-brainer to do it,” said Michael Kornitas, an energy conservation manager for Rutgers utilities operations. “We’ll be pretty much cash-positive right from the get-go.”
The 8-megawatt system, the second installation on the Rutgers campus, is more than four times larger than the previous system – a 1.4-megawatt, 7-acre system that went online in 2009. “This is an exciting and innovative project that demonstrates Rutgers’ ongoing commitment to energy conservation and environmentally sound practices,” said university president Richard L. McCormick about the new solar canopy.