New solar portfolio will offset 21% of electricity for New Jersey school district

Solar Power World | Kelsey Misbrener
June 28, 2023

Greenskies Clean Focus announced it has completed seven rooftop solar systems totaling 3.31 MW for the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District.

Greenskies’ partnered with EPC Pfister Energy, based in Hawthorne, New Jersey, to install more than 8,600 solar panels on the roofs at:

  • Dutch Neck Elementary School (108.57 kW)
  • Maurice Hawk Elementary School (487.02 kW)
  • Millstone River School (198.27 kW)
  • Village School (503.195 kW)
  • Thomas R. Grover Middle School (790.79 kW)
  • High School North (693.00 kW)
  • High School South (534.38 kW)

These solar projects were made possible through a 15-year solar power purchase agreement with Greenskies. The PPA agreements enable the school district to install solar at no cost and purchase the electricity generated by the systems at a reduced rate, compared to traditional utility rates.

“Greenskies is pleased to provide the West Windsor-Plainsboro RSD with a low, fixed-rate PPA,” said Stanley Chin, president and CEO of Greenskies. “Protecting the District’s budget from unpredictable utility rate hikes for the next fifteen years, creates beneficial stability that will benefit students while advancing access to renewable energy and sustainability goals.”

According to Schneider Electric, the District’s energy services company, the solar arrays will produce enough clean, renewable energy to offset approximately 21% of the school’s annual electricity use, resulting in over $3,500,000 savings over the life of the systems.

“These solar PV systems will not only reduce costs now but will protect the District from future electricity price increases,” said Dan Riggle, program manager at Schneider Electric. “Having a PPA electric rate that is fixed for the next 15 years provides budgetary certainty for West Windsor-Plainsboro RSD, which is especially important considering the escalating prices we see in so many aspects of current life.”

These solar PPAs are part of a larger Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) developed by Schneider Electric. This ESIP has allowed West Windsor-Plainsboro to realize over $30 million in school facility improvements such as new LED lighting and HVAC systems through cost savings, financing and grants/rebates. Solar consultant Talva Energy assisted with the development of the solar PPA RFP and coordination from pre-construction to successful competition.

“These solar projects provide our District and community with significant cost savings and improve our schools’ environmental impact,” said Dr. David Aderhold, superintendent of West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District. “We are doing our part to educate and model environmentally conscious behaviors for our students while contributing to creating a better world for their future.”