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EGEB: This New Jersey community solar farm gives landfill a new purpose

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The Linden Hawk Rise 4.5 MW community solar project in New Jersey nears completion.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico, launches an Electrified Dealer Program to help car dealers sell EVs.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

New Jersey community solar on landfill

Navisun, which co-develops, acquires, owns, and operates distributed and small utility-scale solar projects, has nearly completed its Linden Hawk Rise 4.5 megawatt (MW) community solar farm in Union County, New Jersey, northwest of Staten Island (pictured above).

What’s especially great about Linden Hawk is that it sits on the City of Linden’s previously unusable landfill site. It will provide more affordable clean energy access to about 800 residents, over half of whom are low- and moderate-income (LMI).

The Linden Hawk Rise project is one of 45 solar projects, totaling 78 MW, that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities reviewed, scored, and awarded in Program Year 1 of the state’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. The program provides guaranteed savings of 10-15% for all customers. Subscribers can cancel their subscription at any time, have no upfront costs, and will have their bill credits shown clearly on their PSE&G utility bill.

With more than 135,000 solar installations, New Jersey is the No. 1 state in the US for installed solar capacity per square mile and has the most planned community solar capacity serving LMI households.

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Albuquerque wants car dealerships to sell EVs

A big challenge as the US moves to electrification is getting car dealerships on board, and the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is working to encourage that. In July, it introduced its Electrified Dealer Program to help increase EV purchasing and leasing in the Albuquerque area.

Benefits include:

  • Recognition on the city of Albuquerque’s website
  • Promotional media kit
  • Marketing collateral to hand out onsite
  • EV sales training for staff
  • Co-marketing opportunities
  • Opportunity for marketing and program development with the city of Albuquerque

In order to uphold their side of the bargain, car dealerships are required to:

  • EV/PHEV and ICE inventory on lot (Ed. note: You’re out of luck, Tesla.)
  • Sell and advertise EVs/PHEVs
  • Share monthly EV/PHEV sales data with the city
  • Two sales staff members must train with the city for an hour, twice a year
  • Working EV charging station on site at the dealership and available to customers
  • Participate with the city of Albuquerque in cross-promotion marketing

Local news site KOB4 reports that only one dealership has signed up so far. Kelsey Rader, chief sustainability officer for the City of Albuquerque, told KOB:

We hope ultimately the dealers will begin to prioritize electric vehicle sales more to make sure those vehicles are really top front and center and very visible for customers.

We know that we’re only a few years out from EV’s being the primary vehicles that are going to be marketed by these major auto companies, so because of all of that, it’s really important the city of Albuquerque keeps pace with the EV market.

Electrek’s Take: This is a great initiative from the city of Albuquerque, and other cities would be wise to follow its example. Over the last couple years, I’ve randomly asked car dealer professionals at both Toyota and Mini about electric vehicles – what they know, how they feel, what they expect to happen – and only one person could comprehensively discuss EVs and understood their benefits. Dealers have a lot of work to do, and change is coming no matter what.

Photo: Navisun

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