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Work is underway on 9.8 megawatt solar installation in Raritan Township

Posted by admin on October 21, 2014
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– Hundreds of evergreen trees are being planted along Everitts Road and Route 202-31 north that will eventually hide a big solar farm that is being installed between those roads and Copper Hill School. The installation could have as many as 40,700 ground-mounted solar panels with a generating capacity of 9.8 megawatts. From the air, the solar arrays would look like the letter L, with the base of the L along Everitts Road and the L’s spine along the highway. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in New Jersey a field with that capacity could supply electricity to just over 1,400 average homes. Millennium Development Limited LLC got in 2011, which pressed for better screening of the facility from the view of passersby, students and teachers and residential neighbors.

The original proposal was for 42,868 panels. The current 40,700-panel figure may be further reduced as Millennium meets its landscaping commitments, which have priority. According to documents filed with the township, the 72.4-acre site includes 7 acres of woodland, of which 4.3 acres will be preserved. The solar panels will cover 50 acres of the site. Two billboards on the highway will be removed permanently, and a 15,000-gallon water tank for firefighting purposes will be installed underground. The solar-panel area will be secured by an 8-foot chain-link fence that will be colored black to minimize its visual impact. The panels and supporting racks will be reach no higher than 7.12 feet above ground level. The evergreens are being planted along a 50-foot buffer strip along Everitts Road and the highway, and there will be a similar 40-foot buffer along back border. According to the Board of Adjustment’s resolution, there will be “almost 100 percent screening” of the panels from neighbors and passersby.

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