Greenskies solar PPA covers rooftop installs at seven New Jersey schools

Solar Builder | Chris Crowell
May 9, 2024

Greenskies Clean Focus is funding rooftop solar at seven schools and the District Administration Building for the Piscataway Township Schools in New Jersey — at no upfront cost to the district thanks to a 15-year solar power purchase agreement (solar PPA). In total, the Greenskies portfolio in Piscataway is 1.67 MW (3,700 solar panels).

The solar PPA agreement from Greenskies enables the Piscataway District to purchase the electricity generated at a low, fixed-rate and outsource operation and maintenance costs to Greenskies for the term. Over those 15 years, the solar projects will offset around 20,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

“The installation of this solar portfolio marks a significant step towards their goals, and we’re thrilled to play a part in reducing their carbon footprint,” said Stanley Chin, President and CEO of Greenskies. “This initiative exemplifies the positive impact that organizations can have on the environment and their communities through clean energy solutions.”

Greenskies-Piscataway District solar PPA sites

The Piscataway Township Schools are no stranger to solar energy, solar power projects funded via solar PPAs have actually been a key element of the district’s Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP).

“It’s been 15 years since we started putting solar panels on our schools; we really were out in front with that initiative,” said David Oliveira, Business Administrator and Board Secretary for Piscataway Township Schools. “We’ve done a number of solar panel additions over the years, and Greenskies has become a key partner in that effort. I’d also like to thank our Board of Education for their commitment to using less energy and decreasing our carbon footprint.”

The new solar sites include:

  • Eisenhower Elementary School (243.00 kW)
  • Grandview Elementary School (266.40 kW)
  • Knollwood Elementary School (189.90 kW)
  • Arbor Intermediate School (54.00 kW)
  • M. L. King Intermediate School (271.35 kW)
  • T. Schor Middle School (270.00 kW)
  • Piscataway High School (221.40 kW)
  • Administration Building (151.20 kW)

In addition to solar panels, Piscataway Schools have installed more efficient heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, motion-detector light switches, and better-insulated windows and doors as part of the ESIP. The District projects that the improvements will generate $18 million in savings over 18 years, which it will use to pay for the upgrades.

Because of these efforts, the federal Energy Star program has recognized Piscataway Township Schools for two consecutive years. In 2022, four Piscataway Schools were designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as Energy Star Certified Buildings. Then, in 2023, all ten district-owned school buildings were certified by the Energy Star program – more than any other school district in New Jersey.

“This is an incredible achievement for our District,” said Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli. “It is also a tribute to the years of hard work that our Board of Education and administration have put into making our buildings more energy efficient, as well as the continuous contributions of all our staff members in making energy savings a priority. We’re committed to doing our part to protect the environment and public health while saving on utility costs.”