Located within the 185-acre work-life campus The Park, Berkeley Heights recently celebrated the unveiling of its largest solar canopy installation.
Berkeley Heights Mayor Angie Devanney joined executives from The Connell Co. and Brightcore Energy Oct. 26 to commemorate the project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. According to the announcement, the site is expected to generate approximately 4.9 million kilowatts annually, or enough carbon-free electricity to power 560 homes over the next three decades.
Based in the municipality, The Connell Co. is the privately owned and managed real estate, hospitality and equipment leasing firm behind The Park. New York-based BrightCore is a provider of end-to-end clean energy solutions for the commercial and institutional markets.
According to the partners, the project is also one of the largest solar parking canopy installations in the state.
It consists of 9,158 solar panels, which are affixed to the parking canopy structures and the rooftop of 100 Connell Drive — where Fiserv set up its new innovation hub. The panels cover 1,500 parking spaces, including 38 electric vehicle charging stations. The panels occupy 100,000 square feet of the building’s roof.
“At The Park, we are constantly looking for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint,” The Connell Co. Executive Vice President Shane Connell said in a statement. “Sustainability remains top of mind as we consider how to transform and improve the office experience in ways that not only lead to increased tenant and employee satisfaction, but also contribute to the greater good of our community.
“Brightcore has been an ideal energy service provider in cultivating a more green campus and we’re very proud to see this initiative come to fruition,” he added.
Brightcore also developed another rooftop-mounted solar installation at The Park, atop 200 Connell Drive. The company estimates that the new project will amount to cost savings of $496,843 annually, based on an assumed 10 cent/kWh of avoided utility cost, or more than $12.4 million over the system’s expected 25-year life span.
The Park is currently undergoing a phased upgrade plan that is expected to be completed in 2023. Home to companies including L’Oreal and Samsung, the campus offers 1.5 million square feet of Class A office and flexible workspace, a 176-room Embassy Suites hotel, fitness and health amenities, a Life Time Fitness, green spaces for active and passive recreation, and a 40,000-square-foot coworking space: Round Table Studios.