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Schering-Plough Flips Switch on 1.7MW Solar System

by 5m Editor
6 May 2009, at 10:37am

US - Animal health and pharmaceuticals giant, Schering-Plough Corporation, has switched on a 1.7 megawatt solar energy system on the roof of its centre in New Jersey.

With panels located on top seven buildings at the company's Summit, New Jersey, site, the system is one of the largest photovoltaic rooftop installations in New Jersey and North America.

Chairman and CEO Fred Hassan symbolically activated the system by flipping a 6-foot light switch during a ceremony attended by local and state officials, and a class of fifth graders.

"Three years ago Schering-Plough initiated a global strategic energy management initiative to build a foundation for an energy-efficient future," Mr Hassan said.

"This project is a major achievement of that initiative. It represents the achievement of three objectives -- savings, sustainability and societal benefit - and significantly moves us closer to our goal of reducing energy use worldwide by as much as 10 per cent by 2013."

"Schering-Plough is to be commended for their responsible energy conservation efforts and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Garden State," said Governor Jon S. Corzine.

"New Jersey has been a national leader in solar energy programs, and this private sector project is a fine complement to our own initiatives as we work to secure and strengthen the state's energy future."

"Energy programs like Schering-Plough's set a high standard that helps New Jersey serve as a model for other states," said Jeanne M. Fox, president, N.J. Board of Public Utilities.

"The company has adopted policies consistent with Governor Corzine's Energy Master Plan, which has identified renewable energy and energy efficiency as major priorities in coming years."

In conjunction with the activation proceedings, a class of fifth graders from Washington School in Summit participated in a hands-on lesson held in a newly designed eco-focused "green room." Students learned about the science behind energy production and various ways to conserve resources.

The solar energy system is the latest high-profile component in Schering-Plough's award-winning global energy management program, which builds from a foundation of energy conservation.

The company was recently named a 2009 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for outstanding energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Schering-Plough Energy Director Tom Pagliuco: "Managing energy well is critical to our operations. We are making our consumption of energy 'greener' by using renewable sources like solar and by reusing byproduct heat created in generating electricity on our sites. However, reducing overall energy consumption is our main goal. We believe the greenest kilowatt is the one not used."

The rooftop solar system is owned and will be operated by PPL Renewable Energy, which will sell the power to Schering-Plough.

It is anticipated that the system will provide up to 12 percent of the site's peak energy needs and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1.3 million pounds each year, the equivalent to planting 123 acres of pine forest.

In addition to generating power, the project creates a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC), a tradable certificate representing all the clean energy benefits of the electricity generated from a solar electric system. PPL EnergyPlus, PPL's trading and marketing subsidiary, purchases the SREC generated by this project as part of a coordinated effort to increase development of renewable energy projects.