ACUA sells solar energy credits for $32,000
ATLANTIC CITY — Another part of its renewable energy program is paying off for the Atlan-tic County Utilities Authority. The ACUA reported the first sale of solar renewable energy credits for about $32,000. Those credits are part of an incentive program for companies to use more renewable energy, such as wind or solar power.
The state issues the ACUA one credit for every 1,000 kilowatts generated by its solar energy field. That field generated 135,000 kilowatts of power, or 135 credits. In this sale, the credits were bought by PSE&G Resources & Trade LLC. Each of the credits sold for $237.65.
Companies such as PSE&G can buy the credits rather than build their own solar fields to help meet their renewable-energy requirements, said ACUA Controller Katie Vesey. Vesey said that, in New Jersey, credits linked with solar energy carry the most value because the state is specifically pushing solar energy as a renewable energy source. The other benefit is that, without the credits and other associated state rebates, solar renewable energy
would be too expensive to produce, she said.
“The rebate provided by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities supporting the construction of this project and the revenue derived from the sale of (the credits) makes this solar project favorable from a financial standpoint,” said ACUA President Rick Dovey. The ACUA’s solar energy system at the treatment plant consists of two ground-mounted solar arrays, two roof-mounted solar arrays and one canopy array. The solar panel installation was completed in May.
ACUA officials estimate they’ll wind up with more than 600 credits for the “energy year” that began June 1 and will run through May 31, 2007. The solar energy system is one of several renewable energy products run by the ACUA. Also in May, ACUA officials said power generated by the five wind turbines at the treatment plant here helped the ACUA save almost $168,000 in energy costs during the first four months of the year.
The wind turbines generated on average almost 70 percent of the plant’s energy electricity during that time, according to ACUA figures. The ACUA estimated it would save at least $367,000 annually on electric costs once the wind farm was operational.