Mmm Mmm Solar

Campbell Soup Co. on Wednesday unveiled plans to install a vast solar energy system at its 38-acre Camden headquarters, including panels mounted to canopies built over employee parking lots.

The food company says the 4.4-megawatt (MW) solar array project will generate about 20 percent of the campus’ annual energy demand. About 2.7 MW of panels will be installed on rooftops of existing structures and on new canopies erected over parking lots, and 1.7 MW will be installed on an adjacent 4.5-acre brownfield.

The project, which is set to go online in the fall, is being developed by BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, using systems developed by SunPower Corp. The array will be owned by BNB and financial company Orix USA, and is being financed through Public Service Electric & Gas Co.’s solar loan program.

Campbell Soup Co. says it will install a 4.4-megawatt solar system on the roofs and parking lots of its Camden campus, seen here in a project rendering. The system includes a 1.7-MW array built on a brownfield, at right. (CAMPBELL SOUP CO.)

Campbell will purchase the estimated 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity generated from the system through a 20-year power-purchase agreement at a rate that is lower than its current cost for conventional electricity.

Campbell said the project supports its sustainability and clean-energy strategy. It previously opened a 9.8-MW solar system at a plant in Napoleon, Ohio, and a 1-MW system at a Pepperidge Farm bakery in Bloomfield, Conn. Both of those projects were also developed by BNB and SunPower.

“This project contributes clean energy to the local grid and demonstrates to our community the viability of renewable energy sources,
all while supporting Campbell’s sustainability strategy to deliver long-term value to our business and
neighborhoods,” said Jim Prunesti, Campbell’s vice president for global engineering.

A rendering of part of the Campbell solar system, which is scheduled to go online later this year. (CAMPBELL SOUP CO.)

The project, which will be Camden’s largest solar array, will also include five electric-vehicle-charging stations provided by PSE&G through its EV Workplace Charging Program.

New Jersey has the nation’s fifth largest base of solar generation, driven by generous state incentives on top of federal tax breaks. More than 350 MW of solar systems were installed in New Jersey last year, bringing its total to 2,003 MW, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.