Sunny Days: More Solar Panels Are Going on Top of Roofs as Businesses Look to Take Advantage of Solar Power
January 31, 2010
Walk through a supermarket and it’s easy to imagine how much electricity is needed to run the business.
Large refrigerated displays keep vegetables, meats and fish cold. Ice cream and frozen products are kept in freezers. The ceiling is lined with lights.
“Refrigeration is the killer,” said Mark Norkus, vice president of Norkus Enterprises, a Point Pleasant Beach company that operates seven Foodtowns in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Norkus Enterprises is in the midst of a project to put solar panels atop six stores, enough to supply an estimated 5 percent of the stores’ total electricity needs, said Jamie Hahn, managing director of Solis Partners , a Wall-based company that designs and installs commercial solar projects.
“They will be producing some energy,” Mark Norkus. “We will be able to hedge our energy costs to some degree.”
Work on four stores is complete, with the remainder expected to be finished by April 1, Hahn said. All told, the 2,700 solar panels will generate about 488 kilowatts, which is enough to power 82 homes for a year, he said.
Norkus Foodtown is among a rising number of businesses that are turning the sun’s rays into electricity to lower their electric bills.
Helped by federal stimulus money and financing programs, commercial solar has taken off in New Jersey.
© 2010 Gannett Co., Inc.