Benjamin Moore & Co. inaugurated a solar installation at its Flanders, N.J., research and development campus, as the company’s CEO was joined by state and local officials in “flipping a switch” to the 1.7-megawatt solar array.
Joining Benjamin Moore CEO Denis Abrams for the event were Greg Jarosinski, president of Constellation Energy, Benjamin Moore’s partner in the solar-energy project; Betty Lou De Croce, a representative of the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Michele Siekerka, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Flanders Mayor David Scapicchio; Carolyn Gehl Fefferman of the office of Sen. Robert Menendez; and former Gov. Jim Florio.
The solar array, one of the largest in New Jersey, comprises 8,600 crystalline photovoltaic panels that are expected to power 68% of the facility's electricity needs. Benjamin Moore said the installation also will reduce the release of carbon dioxide by more than 1,600 metric tons—equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 300 vehicles.
Under a 20-year solar power purchase agreement, Benjamin Moore is providing the land and will purchase all of the electricity from the solar panels. Constellation Energy will build, own and maintain the system.
Constellation Energy (www.constellation.com), based in Baltimore, is a supplier of energy products and services to wholesale and retail electric and natural gas customers. The company said the long-term solar-power purchase agreement structure enables Benjamin Moore to undertake renewable-energy generation with no up-front capital expenditure. Depending on conditions, the system is expected to produce nearly 2,230,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, enough to supply 68% of the electricity of the facility.
Benjamin Moore and Constellation Energy are also exploring new energy conservation measures at the Flanders site to further reduce the facility’s overall electricity usage so that it can rely almost exclusively on the power generated by the solar array.