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Community solar construction continues at Blue Army Shrine in Franklin, New Jersey

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 07th April

Construction of the 68- kWdc Citrine Power community solar canopy project on the grounds of the Blue Army Shrine in Franklin, N.J., began in early March 2021. The system, being constructed by Pfister Energy, is located on car and bus parking lots. This project is one of the first 45 that was approved by NJ BPU under NJ’s Community Solar Program Pilot Year 1 in 2019. 

“We are very proud to be finally seeing the results of our hard work and patience of this long development effort. Citrine Power is excited to be one of the pioneers of the community solar development effort in New Jersey via the Blue Army Shrine canopy project. As with all new renewable energy programs the development effort was not without its challenges but with the support of First Energy and NJ BPU we were able to overcome obstacles to bring this project to life. We look forward to expanding our footprint in New Jersey in the coming years,” said Cela Sinay Bernie, Managing Partner of Citrine Power.

“We here at the National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima are excited to host, and finally see the installation of this solar canopy system, which has multiple uses and benefits. The system will serve as a parking canopy for our visitors, and provide additional covered event space, protecting attendees from the elements. It will also provide reduced rate power for low-and-medium income residents in the community,” added David Carollo, the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA. 

In addition to the savings to New Jersey residents, the system will also help clean the air and fight climate change. It is expected to offset about 590 tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 128 cars off the road each year. The project is expected to be operational by September 2021 and serve low-and-medium income residents in Warren, Sussex, Hunterdon and Morris counties that are in First Energy’s service territory.

The canopy is financed by Sunwealth who will be the long-term owner operator of the system. “The New Jersey Community Solar pilot program provides an exciting opportunity to bring clean energy savings to low- and moderate- income households and communities across New Jersey. Community strongholds like the Blue Army Shrine provide a strong foundation for future clean energy investments in both organizations and households across the State that stand to benefit from the growth of solar energy,” said Jonathan Abe, CEO of Sunwealth.

Sunwealth has contracted with Neighborhood Sun for customer enrollment and management. Through its SunEngine advanced software platform, it offers a flexible, secure, and fully transparent platform for solar developers or asset owners, plus a simplified enrollment experience for customers. “Our SunEngine platform provides a best-in-industry level of flexibility and transparency to ensure that long-term solar asset owners like Sunwealth get the highest level of service as well as insight into their long-term revenue stream,” noted Gary Skulnik.