US Rep Robert Andrews (D-NJ) presented Gloucester Marine Terminal officials in Gloucester City NJ with an award letter recently. The letter announced an $11 million federal tax credit rebate for the recently completed new rooftop solar power plant project, the largest of its kind in North America.
Known as Riverside Renewable Energy LLC, the $42 million project consists of 27,526 photovoltaic rooftop solar panels covering 1.1 million square feet of rooftop at the Gloucester Marine Terminal, which is owned by the Holt family. It has the capacity to produce 9.0 megawatts of electricity—enough to power more than 1,500 homes.
The Riverside project sits atop the roof of the terminal’s refrigerated warehouse near the Walt Whitman Bridge on the Delaware River. Operating 24/7 for service food importers, the terminal is the largest on-dock refrigerated warehouse on the East Coast and a large user of electricity. Construction on the solar project began in June 2011 and was completed on budget and ahead of schedule in autumn 2011.
Riverside will generate the equivalent of up to 80% of the terminal’s power demand. The system is expected to offset more than 8,100 tons of carbon dioxide, about the amount that would be offset by planting 400,000 trees or removing 1,200 cars from the road.
After a rooftop tour of the facility, Andrews presented terminal officials with the award letter for the tax credit rebate under the Section 1603 program from the US Department of the Treasury, which was enacted in 2009 with the congressman’s support to foster pioneering investments in clean energy technology.
The Riverside project is supported by both federal and state incentives for businesses to invest in renewable energy—on the federal level via the Section 48 Investment Tax Credit, and on the state level through the New Jersey Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) for ongoing solar generation from the project. Riverside will sell SRECs associated with the system to enhance the economic viability of the project.
Besides the Holt family, the Riverside project is a partnership involving SunPower, a global solar technology company; Rabobank, a global bank and financier of renewable energy projects; and Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), which plays a lead role in the interconnection of the project to the PJM power grid. A total of 200 construction jobs were created to build the project.