Cemetery turns to solar power to cut costs

New Jersey news from Eyewitness News

April 24, 2012 2:58:51 PM PDT
There are 108 acres of land at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Some of that land is lined with headstones. Some of it is lined with solar panels.

A thousand panels, or 236 kilowatts worth of power, is enough for 30 homes or about half of one very large mausoleum, which is exactly why this cemetery needs the panels.

Heating, cooling and lighting costs a lot of money, so when the Archdiocese of Newark started using solar panels on some of its schools, it seems like a good idea to use panels at its cemetery.

The archdiocese doesn't actually own the panels. Instead it's entered a power purchase agreement with Borrego Solar, which allows the diocese to buy solar power at a much lower rate than what the local power company JCP and L charges. Ironically, it has a substation across the street from the cemetery.

The savings with solar are about 23-thousand dollars annually for the cemetery. It is certainly a first for a cemetery and it may even be a blessing.

Gate of Heaven is located at 225 Ridgedale Avenue in East Hanover, New Jersey.

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