9MW New Jersey Solar Roof Will Be Biggest in the USA

holt logistics solar roof photo

Excuse the helicopters. It was surprisingly hard to find an image of the Gloucester facility. Image credit: Holt Logistics

When I wrote about Renault's 60MW solar project in France, I noted that it is getting hard to decide what is impressive these days in the world of solar power. No sooner do I write about a refrigerated warehouse in Baltimore staying cool through solar power, than I hear of another refrigerated facility going solar. But this one is truly gigantic. When finished at the end of this year, the 9MW roof that Holt Logistics are installing on the Gloucester Marine Terminal on the Delaware River will be the largest in the United States. True, with the DOE offering $1.4m in loan guarantees for 733MW of rooftop solar, the signs are good that the Gloucester Terminal will not be the largest for long—but it is still a major milestone for clean, distributed energy. And because this is going on a heavy energy user whose peak demand should coincide with peak supply form the sun (refrigeration is needed on sunny days!), it is particularly enticing.

SolarBuzz has more information on the 9MW solar rooftop project which—under the banner of Riverside Renewable Energy LLC— is a partnership between Holt Logistics, SunPower and Rabobank. Meanwhile IBTimes reports that the Gloucester project is just one among many that sees New Jersey becoming a leader in rooftop solar thanks to regional cap and trade that has already seen other major projects springing up in the state:

Another gigantic rooftop solar installation has already been completed in the state. Avidan Management just completed a massive 4.26 MW power plant on a 656,255 square foot industrial warehouse complex in Edison NJ, cutting electricity costs 70% for some heavy industrial energy users under it, including an 85,000 square foot refrigerated space for cheese maker Arthur Schuman.

Meanwhile John Timmer of ARS Technica notes that The Garden State is now number #2 in solar power (second only to California), arguing that this is not primarily a success story for New Jersey, but rather a failure to instigate similar growth nationally. Who knows—given the news that the green economy employs more people than fossil fuels—maybe New Jersey will provide the light for others to follow?

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