Rooftop Solar Power at ETS Office Buildings in New Jersey

SunPower Corp photovoltaic solar panels

Educational Testing Service (ETS) and SunPower Corp. have installed rooftop solar power systems totaling 1.8-megawatts on three ETS office buildings in Ewing and Princeton, New Jersey.

“With these systems, ETS is reinforcing its commitment to energy conservation, waste reduction and environmental protection. SunPower’s technology will ensure that the systems deliver long-term cost savings and environmental benefits,” says T.J. Elliott, ETS vice president of Strategic Workforce Solutions.

ETS expects that the 1.8-MW installation will generate the equivalent of 10 percent of current electricity demand at the sites, delivering $1.5 million in cost savings over the next 20 years.

SunPower installed SunPower T5 Solar Rooftop systems on the roofs of ETS’s Lord and Messick halls in Princeton and Z Building in Ewing. The T5 Solar Roof Tile is the solar industry’s first non-penetrating rooftop product that combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. Tilted at a five-degree angle, the T5 Roof Tile system approximately doubles the energy generated per square meter compared to other systems that are mounted flat onto commercial rooftops.

ETS financed the systems through a power purchase agreement with SunPower. Under the agreement, Wells Fargo owns the systems that SunPower designed, built, operates, and maintains. ETS is hosting the systems and buying the electricity at prices below retail rates, providing not-for-profit ETS with a long-term hedge against rising power prices with no initial capital investment. ETS does not own the solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) or environmental benefits associated with the systems.

“Using SunPower technology will maximize the amount of power generated, reducing ETS’s annual electricity costs now and over the next 25 years or more,” said Tom Leyden, managing director, SunPower. “We commend ETS for their leadership in environmental sustainability and for helping New Jersey attain its renewable energy goals.”

ETS actively seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, conserve energy, reduce waste and protect the environment through numerous on-campus “green” initiatives. A plan is underway to upgrade the central heating and cooling controls across the Princeton campus, which will result in additional energy and cost savings. Furthermore, ETS has “green” committees in its New Jersey and San Antonio offices that introduced sustainability measures to address recycling and energy issues, and reduce utility usage.

ETS is also working with SunPower to develop a program that will offer ETS employees preferred rates on SunPower solar power systems for their homes.

Elliott says, “Conserving resources and reducing our carbon footprint has to do with the little choices we make every day. Using reusable mugs, turning lights off when we leave a room, and unplugging appliances when not in use have a positive and significant cumulative effect on energy reduction. ETS staff show their commitment to the environment through actions large and small every day.”

Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. designs, manufactures, and delivers the planet’s most powerful solar technology that is broadly available today. Residential, business, government, and utility customers rely on the company’s experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, California, SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Read Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy-and Our Planet-from Dirty Energy from Amazon.