NJ printer gets the picture with solar


Solis Partner's rooftop installation at PSE&GPictorial, a family-owned, New Jersey commercial printer since 1938, is now benefitting from its new solar rooftop. It’s a757 kilowatt photovoltaic array installed by N.J.-based Solis Partners.

Printing companies use a fair amount of electricity running printing presses, machine operated cutting machines and more, so it’s no surprise that the system, which covers two-thirds of the 197,000 square-foot headquarters, is anticipated to provide more than 20 percent of the facility’s energy needs. With nearly 3,000 modules the array is expected to generate approximately 782,200 kilowatt hours in its first year.

Pictorial was able to get a solar loan from Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) to fund part of the solar array. Pictorial will repay the loan through the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) that it will generate. Its PSE&G’s second solar loan program and a third round of the program is under consideration by the N.J. Board of Public Utilities (BPU).

Under the terms of the contract, PSE&G will receive the SRECs for fifteen years, according to a spokesperson for Solis. The long-term contract with the utility helps ensure a uniform price for the SRECs, while the more short-term market goes through periods of variability, which recently have led to SREC price declines in many states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “Utility financing programs offer SREC certainty in an otherwise volatile incentive market throughout the northeast,” said the spokesperson. “For the utility ratepayers, it smooths out and reduces longterm REC obligations, and for the entities looking to go solar—it provides the certainty needed to finance projects (it's the one true line item in a proforma other than utility pricing; really fills the market void).”

While the company’s been around for a while, it doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the mud in terms of conservation. It’s been building its green credits since the 1980s, it recycles, has worked to reduce water use and conserves electricity. For instance, in addition to installing the solar roof, it recently upgraded its lighting to an energy-efficient fluorescent lighting system with motion sensors, prior to installing the array. “They did it beforehand.  It’s the best approach, bend down your baseline and size solar appropriately,” the official said. Pictorial also the first company to participate in the Sustainable Forest Initiative’s chain-of-custody registry and among the first to offer Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified printing paper.