North Jersey Media Group goes solar

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North Jersey Media Group announced this week that it will install more than 4.2 megawatts of solar power at its facility in Rockaway, N.J.

The Media Group, which prints The Record, the Herald News, and numerous other community papers, has contracted with KDC Solar.

KDC will install, own and maintain the more than 20,000 solar panels on the North Jersey Media Group’s property.

The project should be completed in early 2011, according to a press release.

The Media Group will buy the power from KDC. The panels are expected to produce about half of the printing facility’s energy needs, said North Jersey Media Group president Stephen Borg.

Borg said this was just the next step in greening up the media group. The company already uses recycled newsprint and soy-based inks.

“We used all the space available to install this solar facility including erecting car ports with panels on top,” Borg said.

Only about 8 percent of the solar panels are installed on the roof, he said. The rest are on the extensive grounds the media group owns.

“It’s easier to build this on land than on the roof,” he said. “Roofs have to be repaired. They get leaks, and they need attention.”

He said he decided to go forward with the project when KDC approached him about it. It made good business sense because the media group didn’t have to put any money down. KDC is taking on the financial burden, and the media group is simply providing the land and buying the power back.

All of the tax incentives for solar development and rebates will go to KDC.

“I could have done this myself, I guess,” Borg said. “But then I would have had to put the money down on it, and I would have had to enter an industry I know nothing about.”

The arrangement with KDC made good sense to Borg.

Borg said he expects to be able to buy the power from KDC at about half the price he pays for traditional power. That means he will save about 25 percent on his total bill.

“It’s win, win,” he said. “It’s good for the environment, and I’m also planning to save on my energy bill.”

Image courtesy of KDC Solar.