Elected Officials, Business Leaders Celebrate Completion of 1.75 Megawatt Rooftop Community Solar Project
NJ BPU Commissioner Christine Guhl-Sadovy, NJ State Senator Bob Smith, Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler and Others Connect the Cord on Solar Installation Serving Nearly 300 Homes
Piscataway, NJ – July 13, 2023 – Today, regulatory officials, elected officials and business leaders in solar energy and real estate connected the cord to complete construction on a new community solar project that will bring solar energy at a discount to almost 300 households.
The Piscataway community solar installation is one of Solar Landscape’s 54 community solar projects in New Jersey that will soon provide solar energy to more than 11,000 homes, making Solar Landscape one of the nation’s leading community solar developers.
Installed, owned, and operated by Solar Landscape, the 1.75-megawatt (DC) renewable energy project in Middlesex County is part of a 9.7 megawatt (MW) portfolio of 11 community solar projects hosted by Sudler Companies and GTJ REIT, Inc. that will soon power over 1,500 New Jersey homes, the majority of which will be low- to moderate-income (LMI) households.
Community solar is New Jersey’s most shovel-ready clean energy program. The Piscataway project was approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in October 2021 and nearby residents can enroll now to receive discounted energy by the end of 2023. By promoting access to clean energy for LMI communities, the project also supports environmental justice.
Residents can visit www.solarlandscape.com to find a project near them.
Broad Support for Community Solar from Policy and Business Leaders
The community solar program was created through legislation sponsored by New Jersey State Senator Bob Smith, who was on hand to celebrate the project.
“Community solar brings the promise of solar energy to low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans and makes them part of the fight to resist global climate change,” said Senator Smith.
By subscribing nearby households to solar energy at a discount, the installation will bring benefits to Piscataway residents.
“Great jobs and green energy are fantastic benefits that these logistics centers bring to Piscataway,” Mayor Brian C. Wahler said. “Hard working residents are earning good salaries at these commercial sites and now solar energy is produced at them for New Jersey families. I am also grateful that low- and moderate-income families can get a break on their PSE&G bill because of these building upgrades of solar panels.”
“I want to thank Solar Landscape and Sudler Companies for making a wise investment in Piscataway,” Mayor Wahler continued. “I am thrilled that we can optimize our corporate locations to help the environment. I also thank Colart for being an incredible corporate partner to our Township and again demonstrating its dedication to our community.”
“This project is yet another exciting milestone in achieving Governor Murphy’s clean energy goals and putting New Jersey at the forefront of solar development,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Christine Guhl-Sadovy. “We look forward to continuing our progress through the community solar program toward making clean energy accessible to all New Jerseyans.”
“Community solar is a proven and efficient way to advance the clean energy transition,” said Solar Landscape CEO and co-founder Shaun Keegan. “New Jersey has created a model for community solar that demonstrates how valuable commercial rooftops can be as we transition away from fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable future that doesn’t use precious open space. By installing community solar projects on warehouses and large commercial buildings, we generate the power closer to where it will be used, reducing burden on the local grid and the need for additional transmission lines.”
For Sudler Companies and GTJ REIT, Inc, the project represents a way to achieve environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, engage with its tenants and be a good neighbor to the community surrounding the project.
“Thanks to community solar and Solar Landscape, we’re taking advantage of an under-utilized asset – our rooftops – and helping our community at the same time,” said Brian Sudler, Principal at Sudler Companies. “This project helps advance our environmental goals and strengthens connections with our tenants and nearby residents.”
Sustainability has been a focus for tenant Colart Americas since they established their North American hub in Piscataway in 2019. The company announced its certification as a B Corp (Benefits Corporation) in May 2023.
“Community solar complements our continued track record in corporate responsibility,” said Mark Triano, Colart Americas’ Chief Financial Officer. “As a tenant in the building, we’re glad that Sudler Companies / GTJ REIT, Inc and Solar Landscape share our commitment to the environment.”
In nearby Edison, Solar Landscape has partnered with Edison Job Corps to introduce its students to careers in solar installation.
“For nearly 60 years, Job Corps has assisted underserved populations with career preparation, career development and career transition,” said Tony Staynings, Business Community Liaison, Edison Job Corps. “We’re excited that one of our students found a job with Solar Landscape and worked on this installation. His story and projects like this one in Piscataway underscore the urgent need for creating career pathways in clean energy.”
Community solar allows residents to subscribe to a nearby solar installation that is often hosted on a commercial property. Residents receive a credit for the electricity generated, with extra savings for low- to moderate-income households. The NJBPU’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, which is part of Governor Murphy’s clean energy agenda, expands access to renewable energy for those who previously could not install solar panels for reasons such as high costs, lack of roof control, or a shaded property.
“Community solar takes advantage of the historic opportunity to make sure our transition to a clean energy future is equitable, affordable, and accessible. Projects like these are a win-win to expand access to lower-cost clean energy and its related benefits to low-income families, who too often are on the frontlines of facing the worst impacts of climate change,” said Allison McLeod, Senior Policy Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
Through the New Jersey community solar program’s Year 1 and 2, Solar Landscape has 70 MW of solar energy built or under construction. The company currently owns and operates nine – representing about half – of New Jersey’s active community solar projects, making it the nation’s largest clean energy portfolio serving LMI households.
High-res video and photos of the Piscataway rooftop community solar project are available by clicking here.
About Solar Landscape
Based in Asbury Park, Solar Landscape is a leading full-service developer, designer, installer, owner, and operator of community solar and solar energy solutions for the commercial/industrial, municipal, public school and non-profit marketplaces. The company employs more than 150 people and has more than 200 megawatts of solar energy projects completed or under construction. For more about Solar Landscape, visit www.solarlandscape.com or check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.