Con Edison, Panda Power Funds to install 20 MW of solar energy

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Pilesgrove, N.J., October 20, 2010 – Con Edison Development, a unit of Consolidated Edison, Inc., and Panda Power Funds today broke ground on a 20-MW solar electric generating station in Pilesgrove, N.J.

The solar farm will have the capacity to power more than 5,100 homes with renewable energy. The shovel-ready project will create over 100 construction jobs with mobilization expected to occur next week.

Joined by New Jersey State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, Mayor Edward J. Kille of Pilesgrove Township, and Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli, executives from Panda Power Funds and Con Edison Development raised ceremonial shovels to mark the start of construction of the 71,400-panel solar farm, which is expected to begin commercial operation next spring.

Developers of the solar farm said that state of New Jersey incentive programs played a vital role in making the large-scale solar project possible.    

The renewable solar power generated from the Pilesgrove facility is the equivalent of removing more than 3,500 cars from the road each year for every year of operation.

Panda Power Funds and Con Edison Development signed an agreement in April to develop, construct and operate utility-scale solar projects in the Northeast.

The companies serve as equal partners in the joint venture. Panda Power Funds assumes primary responsibility for managing project-related development, engineering and construction.

Con Edison Development assumes primary responsibility for managing the operation, maintenance and financing of the facilities, and marketing the energy and renewable attributes produced by the entire facility.

Pilesgrove is located 30 miles southeast of Philadelphia in Salem County, New Jersey. When completed, the solar farm will have the capacity to generate 20-MW DC (18-MW AC) of electric power.

The stationary panels at Pilesgrove are designed to minimize glare and absorb more than 95 percent of available sunlight. Atlantic City Electric will be the host utility for the project.

According to industry estimates, demand for solar energy over the past 15 years has grown at an annual rate of about 30 percent. As policymakers at the state and federal levels steadily increase their commitment to renewable energy, solar power is expected to play a growing role in the new energy economy and help to create jobs, enhance the country’s energy independence, and provide clean, emissions-free electricity.

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