Greenskies completes 3-MW solar portfolio for New Jersey school district


Greenskies Clean Focus announced that it has completed ten solar systems totaling 3 MW for the Union Public Schools community in New Jersey. The energy generated by these projects is expected to offset 74% of the schools’ annual electricity use, resulting in over $370,000 in annual energy savings.

“Greenskies is excited to support Union Township Public Schools’ efforts to improve environmental impact and reduce operating costs,” said Stanley Chin, Greenskies President and CEO. “School systems are increasingly using savings from solar to fund everything from building upgrades to filling budget cuts. All with no upfront costs.”

Greenskies is partnering with Pfister Energy, a commercial solar developer and EPC contractor based in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Pfister has installed rooftop solar at all ten Union Township schools and solar canopies at Union High School (north parking lot) and Hannah Caldwell Elementary School (two canopies over existing parking lot).

  • Union High School (1224.45 kW)
  • Burnet High School (394.20 kW)
  • Kawameeh Middle School (228.60 kW)
  • Jefferson Elementary School / Central Five (146.70 kW)
  • Battle Hill Elementary School (169.20 kW)
  • Connecticut Farms Elementary School (179.10 kW)
  • Franklin Elementary School (85.05 kW)
  • Hannah Caldwell Elementary School (455.40 kW)
  • Livingston Elementary School (89.10 kW)
  • Washington Elementary School (62.10 kW)

“Pfister Energy is excited to be involved in the deployment of solar energy solutions for Union Township Schools,” said Wayne Pfisterer, President of Pfister. “Projects like this, where we can help villages and school districts move forward in their efforts to save money on energy and improve their environmental footprint, are some of the most rewarding projects we undertake.”

More than 6,700 solar modules in the Union’s schools will replace about 74% of the schools’ annual electricity use with clean, renewable energy. According to Schneider Electric, the District’s Energy Services company, these solar projects will result in savings of more than $5.6 million over the lifetime of the systems.

“By taking a holistic view of the sites, the district was able to install solar at all 10 schools in Union,” said Dan Riggle, Schneider Electric program manager. “Through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Program, the District was able to use savings from solar and other projects to fund more than $14 million in school facility improvements.”

These projects are part of a larger, budget-neutral Energy Efficiency Improvement Plan (ESIP) for Union Township Public Schools, which is regulated and approved by the NJ Public Utilities Board. In addition, the solar savings helped fund other significant capital improvements for the District, from new roofs to boilers and energy-efficient lighting. ESIP also provided new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in several schools and new building management systems.

“There was no upfront cost to the district and the energy savings helped pay for other critical upgrades, including more than $4 million in needed roof replacement and repairs, all at zero cost to taxpayers,” Superintendent Scott Taylor said.

Solar consultant Talva Energy helped the District coordinate new roofs, rooftop HVAC equipment and solar installations in a short time frame to successfully obtain the state’s Transitional Renewable Energy Certificate, or TREC, to help fund the projects. In addition to the solar incentives, Schneider Electric supported the District by providing more than $1 million in NJ Clean Energy Program incentives for other energy efficiency improvements such as LED lighting and HVAC upgrades.

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