TRENTON – The state Transportation Department has formed a partnership with a technology company, Adopt-A-Watt, to install solar panels along rest stops, which could save money for the state.
The two rest areas that will have the panels are the Knowlton rest area on Interstate 80 in Warren County and the Carney’s Point rest area on I-295 in Salem County.
DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson said in a statement that the partnership “creates private-sector business opportunities, generates new revenue, reduces energy costs and benefits the environment by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”
Installation of solar panels is expected to begin later this year, after plans have been submitted for NJDOT review and approval. The installation work includes any wiring that is needed to transmit the solar electricity to the electrical service panels.
“We’re thrilled to be working with NJDOT and to be helping the Department accomplish its clean energy goals,” said Adopt-A-Watt founder and CEO Thomas Wither.
The amount of electricity generated by the installations will depend on the number of individual 175-watt photovoltaic panels or multipanel solar arrays that will be erected at the rest areas. Each panel is expected to produce 200 kilowatt-hours of energy annually.
The Transportation Department estimates that approximately a dozen existing light poles would be suitable for sponsored solar panels at each rest area, along with several solar arrays at each site.