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Benjamin Moore to Power NJ-based R&D Center With Solar Installation Developed by Constellation Energy

Published December 21, 2010
Benjamin Moore and Constellation Energy have inaugurated a new solar power system that is expected to generate 68 percent of the electricity needs for Benjamin Moore's 80,000 square foot product development center and testing laboratories. 

The solar power system at the company's Flanders, NJ, R&D facility comprises 8,600 crystalline photovoltaic solar panels, making it one of the largest on-site solar power systems in the state. The system is expected to begin producing electricity by year's end.

Benjamin Moore & Co. teamed with the retail division of Constellation Energy to develop the 1.7-megawatt system. Under a 20-year solar power purchase agreement, Benjamin Moore is providing the land and will purchase all of the electricity from the solar panels. Constellation Energy will build, own and maintain the system.

"Benjamin Moore proudly wears the mantle of product innovator while embracing a stringent commitment to our planet—working diligently to ensure that our products and operations minimally impact the environment," said Denis Abrams, chairman, president and CEO of Benjamin Moore & Co. "Now we are embracing a commitment to renewable energy through our joint endeavor with Constellation Energy. We know that no one action or company will create the single solution to our energy needs. But this installation by Constellation Energy for Benjamin Moore, on our property, contributes to the overall global solution of sustainable energy resources that are sorely needed."

The long-term solar power purchase agreement structure enables Benjamin Moore to undertake renewable energy generation with no upfront capital expenditure. Depending on conditions, the system is expected to produce nearly 2,230,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, enough to supply 68 percent of the electricity of the facility. Benjamin Moore and Constellation Energy are also exploring new energy conservation measures at the Flanders site to further reduce the facility's overall electricity usage so that it can rely almost exclusively on the power generated by the solar array.

The project is the first of its kind to be located in the New Jersey Highlands region under a recently enacted state law. Constellation Energy and Benjamin Moore worked closely with state and community authorities to ensure that the solar installation fully met the open space and water drainage requirements of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act of 2004 which needed to be amended to accommodate this project. The system design was adjusted to shift more than 1,500 photovoltaic panels from an open field on the property to a newly installed roof structure over the facility's existing parking lot. The final design preserves more open space on Benjamin Moore's land while providing shade for parked vehicles. The parking structure will also include recharging stations for electric vehicles.

Constellation Energy estimates that using non-renewable sources to generate the same amount of electricity expected to be produced by the new solar installation would result in the release of more than 1,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, or the equivalent emissions from more than 300 passenger vehicles annually. The system is the latest example of Benjamin Moore's commitment to sustainability, which includes delivering safer, sustainable products to its customers.

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