South Jersey’s Solar Farm

South Jersey has once again upped its standing in the world of alternative energy. In a recent Southern Scene post, I wrote about a natural gas station that opened this fall in Atlantic County. Now it looks like South Jersey is going to be home to the largest solar energy farm on the East Coast.

According to a recent Reuters report, Consolidated Edison Inc. and Panda Energy International Inc. will spend between $85 million and $90 million to build a 20-megawatt solar farm in Pilesgrove that should go live in 2011. The farm will use more than 70,000 Suntech Power solar panels to connect to the utility grid, providing energy not only for local use, but to the entire Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland area.

According to the report, New Jersey is one of 29 states that have set a goal for a minimum amount of electricity to be generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and biomass. Officials believe that the Garden State will hit 22.5 percent of power generation from renewable sources by 2021, and this Pilesgrove farm will go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Just to put this in some perspective, one megawatt can power about 800 homes.

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