Floating Solar Power Energizes New Jersey American Water Treatment Plant
New Jersey American Water installs solar modules on reservoir
VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Floating on a reservoir near New
Jersey American Water's Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in
Millburn is the East Coast's first solar array on a body of water
designed to withstand a freeze/thaw environment.
The 538 solar modules will generate 135 kilowatts of DC power, which
will then be converted to 115 kilowatts of AC power, generating
approximately two percent of the Water Treatment Plant's power.
Annually, the solar field will produce 135,000 kilowatt hours per year.
New Jersey American Water estimates a savings of approximately $16,000
per year in energy costs.
"New Jersey American Water is exploring new ways to use green energy to
enable us to operate more efficiently," said Suzanne Chiavari, vice
president of engineering at New Jersey American Water. "Using innovative
solutions to control costs and reduce our carbon footprint provides
benefits to our customers and furthers our goal of becoming a more
environmentally friendly business."
The $1.35 million project is a pilot for New Jersey American Water as
the company monitors the effectiveness of the solar station during
changes in weather, and also considers adding more solar panels on the
735-million gallon reservoir. The Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant sits
on more than 500 acres of protected land and only a small portion of the
property can be used for construction and/or operational purposes. With
such little space available, the spacious reservoir is the most viable
place to install solar power.
"The support structure of the anchored array features a unique mooring
system that allows it to rise and fall with the water level of the
reservoir," said Bob Biehler, senior project manager at New Jersey
American Water. "The solar panels are fixed at a 14-degree angle and
specially made to endure the severe weather conditions — such as heavy
wind, rain, snow, and ice — that are not uncommon during northern New
New Jersey American Water chose ENERActive Solutions of Asbury Park to
design and build the solar station. To the benefit of the company's
ratepayers, some of the cost of the project may be offset through solar
tax rebates obtained through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
This is the fourth solar project that New Jersey American Water has
implemented at one of its facilities. The company's Canal Road Water
Treatment Plant in Somerset has one of the largest ground-mounted solar
arrays on the East Coast which generates nearly 20 percent of the
plant's power. This past summer, New Jersey American Water added a
150-kilowatt solar field to a well station in Farmingdale and
anticipates a savings of $20,000 per year in energy costs. In fall 2010,
New Jersey American Water installed "solar bees," which are also
anchored on Reservoir No. 1 at the Canoe Brook Treatment Plant. The
"bees" constantly circulate water in the reservoir to improve water
quality. An additional solar installation is planned for the company's
Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant in Delran.
The floating solar array is one of the sustainability improvements
underway at the Canoe Brook site in Millburn, where the company will
unveil a new water treatment plant in mid 2012. The new plant will
replace the current 1920s-era plant that has served the surrounding
communities for most of the last century.
For a photo album of the Canoe Brook solar array, visit New Jersey
American Water on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newjerseyamericanwater.
New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water
(NYSE:AWK), is the largest publicly traded water utility in the state,
providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to
approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the
largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With
headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000
dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other
related services to approximately 15 million people in more than 30
states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by
In 2011, American Water is celebrating its 125th anniversary
with a yearlong campaign to promote water efficiency and the importance
of protecting water from source to tap. To learn more, visit www.amwater125.com.
New Jersey American Water
Richard Barnes, 856-782-2391
Denise Venuti Free, 856-309-4690
Source: American Water
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