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CARTERET, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores, Inc. here has awarded Waitsfield, Vt.-based Northern Power, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., a contract to provide three turnkey photovoltaic (PV) systems to the Northeast regional grocer's Garwood, Elizabeth, and Lawnside, N.J. locations. The turnkey systems, which will have a total capacity of 750 kilowatts, will be designed, built, and commissioned by Northern Power in association with New Jersey-based BGA LLC Engineering.
According to Pathmark energy manager Steve Castracane in a statement: "This strategic effort will provide reliable, renewable power to our Garwood, Elizabeth, and Lawnside facilities while reinforcing Pathmark's continuing commitment to the environment."
The partnership is just one in a series of Pathmark initiatives to help the environment, improve efficiencies, cut costs, and create growth opportunities through the adoption of new energy practices. Additionally, by getting more of its power from grid-connected generation systems, the retailer hopes to reduce its dependence on the electrical grid, enhance system reliability, and ease its impact on the power infrastructure in the communities its stores serve.
The design and efficiencies of Northern Power's turnkey PV systems comply with the requirements of the New Jersey Clean Energy Program and are anticipated to qualify for the NJCEP Customer Onsite Renewable Energy rebate program, a financial incentive that would slash Pathmark's cost by over $2.5 million. As well as the rebate, the systems will also generate solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), which the state's utilities and other electric suppliers must purchase to comply with the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard. Northern Power will buy the SRECs from Pathmark at a guaranteed price per kilowatt-hour for five years. The systems will also qualify for 30 percent federal investment tax credits and federal accelerated depreciation tax benefits.
Northern Power will design and build three separate 250-kilowatt PV systems on the roof of each of the three designated supermarkets. Each system will employ a 20-degree, no-penetration roof mounting system designed to maximize overall electricity output. The contract includes a five-year warranty on the systems and a 25-year warranty on the PV modules.
The PV systems will additionally feature Northern Power's SmartView Remote Monitoring System to gather performance data, provide real-time preventative maintenance updates, and track output for compliance with the NJCEP SREC trading program.
"It is expected that electricity rates in New Jersey will rise in 2006, with the potential for additional increases in the years to come," added Charles "Chach" Curtis, Northern Power's v.p. of on-site power. "By installing these PV systems and taking advantage of New Jersey rebates and SRECs they generate, Pathmark will be positioned to achieve financial returns, while creating a hedge against the rising cost of peak electricity rates."
The Pathmark solar energy systems are estimated to prevent an annual total of 858 tons of carbon dioxide and four tons of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide from entering the atmosphere. Statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say that removing that amount of greenhouse gases from the air is approximately the equivalent of eliminating 148 cars per year from the road, or annually planting 5,781 acres of trees.
Pathmark currently operates 141 supermarkets mainly in the New York-New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, employing more than 24,000 associates.