Public Service Electric & Gas has completed a solar-plus-storage project at Hopewell Valley Central High School in New Jersey, NJ Spotlight reports.
The school pilot project is one of three PSE&G is working on to ensure solar systems continue operating even during extreme weather events such as the state experienced during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
- The administration of Gov. Chris Christie is urging New Jersey’s utilities to invest in measures to make the state’s grid more resilient and resistant to outages such as occurred in the wake of Sandy when millions of customers were without power.
As part of its “Solar 4 All” program, PSE&G is seeking New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approval to develop 33 MW of solar projects at existing landfill and brownfield locations. But the Hopewell school solar-plus-storage project, which is also being conducted under the Solar 4 All program, is the first of its kind by the utility.
The Hopewell system combines an 876 kW rooftop solar array on the school and a solar canopy over the school parking lot with lithium ion batteries.
During an outage, the solar panels would charge the batteries so that they could provide power to the school. Ordinarily, the solar panels would supply power to the grid.
“With this Hopewell Valley Central High School project, we are now also showing how flexible solar can be when it is coupled with storage technology to help maintain grid reliability and serve as a vital source of power,” Courtney McCormick, vice president of renewables for PSE&G, told NJ Spotlight.
PSE&G is using similar storage technology with solar systems at Cooper Hospital in Camden and at a Caldwell wastewater treatment plant in West Caldwell, according to NJ Spotlight.