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Wakefern Food Corp. and NJR Clean Energy Ventures (NJRCEV), a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, have begun installing a 2.4 megawatt rooftop solar system at a Wakefern distribution center in its headquarter town of Keasbey, N.J.
The 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 thirty years,” said Joe Sheridan, president and COO of Wakefern.
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 over a year.
“Together with Wakefern, we are making renewable energy and its benefits a greater piece of our energy future,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources. “As a leader in the energy marketplace, NJR Clean Energy Ventures continues to look for new opportunities in the solar market that are consistent with our core energy strategy to support job creation and benefit our customers, company and state.”
Based upon the findings of a study by Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, it is estimated that up to 35 jobs 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, N.J., and is expected to be operational by Dec. 31.
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.
Wakefern is a wholesaler cooperative comprised of 47 members who 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. Today, there are 49 PriceRite stores in six states.