The Board of Governors of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, approved the construction of a $40.8-million, 32-acre solar canopy energy system that will be the largest in the nation.
Rutgers will install more than 40,000 high-efficiency solar panel canopy structures that will generate 8 MW of power, or about $1.2 million in electricity, over two large parking areas on the university's Livingston Campus. The panels will convert sunlight into electricity while providing people and cars with shelter.
“This is an exciting and innovative project that demonstrates Rutgers' ongoing commitment to energy conservation and environmentally sound practices,” says Richard L. McCormick, president of the university.
The project will utilize federal tax incentives combined with New Jersey's Renewable Energy Credits to pay for the project.
The solar canopy will be the second of its kind on the Livingston Campus; the first one having been built in 2009. The new solar canopy will be more than four times larger than its seven-acre, 1.4-MW counterpart, and upon completion, the two installations combined are expected to provide more than 60% of the Livingston Campus' power.
Construction of the new solar canopy is scheduled to begin this summer, with installation expected to be complete by summer 2012.