Monday, March 07, 2011

PSE&G Moving Ahead With Pole-Mounted Solar Panel Systems In Northern NJ

PSE&G had previously announced its intention to install thousands of small solar panel arrays on its transmission poles throughout the state. They've begun installing the panels in Northern New Jersey, including in the Radburn area.

When completed, the installation of 200,000 solar arrays would be the nation's largest distributed solar power generating system and would generate 40 mW of power.

This is a great utilization of existing infrastructure and facilities to generate distributed power, and begins a process of weaning New Jersey from its reliance on fossil fuels for generating power sufficient to power the state.

Individual units will generate 200 watts of power during optimal weather conditions (summer).

Neighboring Ridgewood apparently has some concerns over the installations on transmission poles that it owns in conjunction with PSE&G, but I think that may be yet another case of NIMBY when the costs are being borne by PSE&G and ratepayers will see a long term benefit - to say nothing of eventually breathing cleaner air as fossil fuel plants are replaced by cleaner alternatives.

There is a legitimate concern though about whether the structures can handle snow loads such as we've seen this past winter and who would be liable in case snow/ice falls from those solar arrays onto pedestrians or vehicles causing injury/damage.

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