Wakefern Food Corporation and NJR Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV), a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR), have begun installing a rooftop solar system at a Wakefern distribution center in Keasbey NJ. The 2.4-megawatt solar system will supply power to a refrigerated warehouse, helping lower Wakefern’s long-term electricity costs and its greenhouse gas emissions.
“Wakefern has been committed to reducing its impact on the environment for more than 30 years,” said Joe Sheridan, president and chief operating officer of Wakefern. “Generation of renewable energy is a natural next step in our commitment to sustainable business practices. We are delighted to partner with NJR Clean Energy Ventures to bring the power of solar energy to our perishable warehouse in Keasbey.”
The solar array is expected to produce nearly 2,900,000 kilowatt-hours annually, eliminating 2,000 metric tons of carbon-equivalent emissions from the atmosphere. This equates to removing the carbon dioxide emissions produced by approximately 390 vehicles.
“Together with Wakefern, we are making renewable energy and its benefits a greater piece of our energy future,” said Laurence M Downes, chairman and chief executive officer of New Jersey Resources.
Based on the findings of a study by Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, up to 35 jobs likely will be created as a result of this project.
NJRCEV will invest $6.9 million to develop and install the state-of-the-art, solar array across the 300,000 square feet of rooftop. The system will be installed by Advanced Solar Products of Flemington NJ and is expected to be operational by December 31, 2012.
The Wakefern solar project is one of the latest installation projects in the NJRCEV commercial solar portfolio, with commercial ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects totaling 27.6 megawatts in commercial operation in Monmouth, Mercer, Middlesex, and Cumberland counties.
A retailer-owned cooperative founded in 1946, Wakefern consists of 47 members that individually own and operate nearly 250 supermarkets under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. In 1996, Wakefern introduced PriceRite stores, extending the company’s reach into Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are now 49 PriceRite stores in six states. Wakefern also distributes products to other supermarkets throughout the northeastern United States and Bermuda.
For more information, visit www.Wakefern.com.