The Connell Company had reason to celebrate at a ribbon cutting ceremony for their newly installed solar canopy at their Berkeley Heights campus known as The Park.
The project consists of 9,158 solar panels affixed to parking canopies and on the rooftop of 100 Connell Drive, which houses the new innovation hub for Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions. The panels cover approximately 1,500 parking spaces, including 38 electric vehicle charging stations, and 100,000 square feet of the building’s roof area.
The installation is expected to generate roughly 4.9 million kWh annually — the equivalent of enough carbon-free electricity to power 560 homes for the next 30 years.
Mayor Angie Devanney said this project will put Berkeley Heights on the map as the largest solar parking canopy installation today in the township, and among the largest in the state. “As we now know solar power is pollution free and causes no greenhouse gasses to be admitted after installation. This reduces our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels. Solar is a renewable clean power that is available every day of the year, even on cloudy days, they still produce some power,” she said. “The return on investment is unlike paying for utility bills. So this is a good investment in Berkeley Heights.”
Mike Richter, President at Brightcore recognized Mayor Devanney, Connell, and Fiserv for their teamwork. “It’s easy to do nothing. We all hear about climate change and the problems that we have, and they’re real, and they’re big. But you have to be a little bit different, go out on a limb a little bit. The Connells have done that.”
Based on an assumed $.10/kWh of utility avoided cost, Brightcore estimates the 100 Connell Drive project’s cost savings will translate to $496,843 annually — or more than $12.4 million over the system’s 25-year life cycle.
The Park, which is set on a 185-acre campus 30 minutes from Manhattan, features 1.5 million square feet of premier Class A office and flexible workspaces and is home to marquee companies such as L’Oreal, Fiserv, and Samsung. The Park’s sprawling campus also features a 176-room Embassy Suites, fitness and health amenities, and a Life Time Fitness.
“We are super excited about the Connell’s commitment to the sustainability goals, their commitment to making this campus a major renewable energy project within the state that is the largest in Berkeley Heights Township and one of the largest solar projects in the state of New Jersey, as far as office campuses are concerned,” said Stan Tolstunov, Vice President Solar at Brightcore.
In addition to the 100 Connell Drive solar installation, Brightcore also developed a second rooftop-mounted solar project at The Park’s 200 Connell Drive.