For the first time, a solar project is helping a natural gas pipeline instead of the other way around. The Lambertville Solar Project in West Amwell Township, New Jersey, is a new kind of hybrid. Once completed this fall, solar energy will offset some of the Lambertville Compressor Station’s electric load.
The solar farm will cover roughly 12 acres and cost around $7 million in private funding. It is estimated that the project will produce 2.25 megawatts of power and provide around $11 million in savings for natural gas utilities, power plants and industrial facilities over its predicted 25-year lifespan.
Solar and Natural Gas Working Together for Everyone’s Benefit
Due to most renewables’ intermittency because of their dependence on the weather, it is a surprise that a solar project is backing up a natural gas pipeline. But, that is the true essence of teamwork. It is the project of Enbridge, a Canadian multinational energy transportation company. They are hoping with this one as an example, there will be many more such projects in the near future.
“This project symbolizes the future of energy in New Jersey. While traditional methods of energy generation are still very much a necessity, a project like this is a clear demonstration of how aspects of renewable energy can complement and enhance existing energy infrastructure,” said Ciro Scalera, Government Affairs Director with NJ Laborers.
The Incredible Shrinking Footprint
“This groundbreaking project brings together natural gas and renewables, working together to deliver energy in a more sustainable manner. This project will help pave the way for our natural gas pipeline operations to be even more environmentally focused, and further solidify Enbridge’s role as an industry leader in a sustainable lower-carbon reality,” said Caitlin Tessin, Enbridge’s Director of Market Innovation.
Natural gas is already a low-carbon source of energy. If it can be teamed up with renewables to get where it needs to go, that footprint will continue to shrink even more.