The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will install a 1.5 megawatt solar panel generation field at the EPA’s Edison, New Jersey facility. Ameresco, Inc. of Framingham, Massachusetts, will install 4,788 solar panels, which will provide approximately 60% of the facility’s electricity needs.
The project is expected to be completed and producing energy by this Summer.
“Solar power is a clean and sustainable energy source for the future,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck.
EPA is proud to have our Edison, New Jersey offices rely on this carbon-free energy source.
Under the agreement with Ameresco, the EPA will provide the company with over five acres of land at its Edison facility for a 25-year period. The solar farm will generate over 1 million kilowatt/hours per year, which is enough to power 123 homes. The EPA estimates the solar array will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,345 tons each year and save taxpayers about $100,000 a year, due to the reduced reliance on energy from fossil fuels.
2016 was the hottest year on record. Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. Although carbon dioxide is naturally present in the atmosphere, activities such as the burning of fossil fuels are adding more CO2 to the atmosphere. Using renewable energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution associated with energy production and helps diversify the nation’s energy supply.
The federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the nation. Each year, the federal government consumes an estimated 57 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity at its nearly 500,000 buildings. This translates into an electric bill of about $5 billion a year. In 2015, President Obama directed federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and increase their renewable energy use to at least 30 percent by 2025.
The EPA And Sustainable Energy
The EPA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency to bring the solar panel generation field to its Edison facility.
The Edison Environmental Center houses the laboratory for EPA Region 2, which provides analytical and technical support to the major programs within the region, including air, wastewater, drinking water, and Superfund. The support includes chemical, microbiological and biological testing of pollutants in water, soil, sediment and tissue samples.