The City of Hoboken and the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) today announced the launch of the Hoboken Community Solar Pilot Program. The program, a part of Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, will provide discounted clean solar energy to the HHA and other low- and moderate-income residents. The program is projected to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions from the HHA and will also provide up to 25 HHA residents with green business job training opportunities.
“Not only will the launch of our Community Solar Program provide a clean, renewable energy source to residents of the Housing Authority, but it will also provide important cost savings as well,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through projects like this one, at no additional cost to the Hoboken taxpayer, is a win-win for our community, and the latest step we’re taking to achieve the goals of our Hoboken Climate Action Plan.”
“All of us are excited for the opportunity for the Hoboken Housing Authority to partner with the City of Hoboken in the Community Solar Program,” said HHA Executive Director Marc Recko. “The future savings in utility costs that HHA realizes through this Program will directly benefit HHA Residents. Just as importantly, the job training that is being made available to HHA Residents that will prepare them for a future in the alternative energy industry, moving all to the goal of self sufficiency for all HHA families.”
“This is a great opportunity for Hoboken, and especially the Housing Authority residents, to help do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, attain our climate action goals, and save some money all at the same time,” said Councilman Jim Doyle, Chair of the City Council’s Environmental Services sub-committee, and member of the Hoboken Green Team.
The Community Solar Program will expand access to clean, solar energy for low- and moderate-income residents who may be disproportionally impacted by the limitations of on-site solar energy such as their property’s physical restrictions and other factors.
Through the program, HHA residents and other low- to moderate-income residents in master metered buildings, or buildings that cover the utility cost for multiple units, will receive solar energy from a remote solar project in Elizabeth, NJ. Energy generated by the solar panels built at that location will be allocated for the City of Hoboken, specifically residents of the HHA. The pilot program comes at no cost to the Hoboken taxpayer through a partnership with Hartz Solar, Gabel Associates, and nonprofit Solar One.
The program is estimated to provide a 25 percent savings to the Hoboken Housing Authority. The estimated cost of these savings will be deposited into a HHA Community Solar Fund which will be allocated for an energy or sustainability project with direct community benefits. The specific project to be funded will be decided by HHA residents through future community engagement sessions hosted by the HHA and solar administrator Gabel Associates, Inc. this summer.
The new program will also provide green job training for up to 25 HHA residents through a partnership with Solar One through their Green Workforce Training Program.
The Green Workforce Training Program, scheduled to begin on June 27, includes three weeks of classroom and hands-on training in construction safety, electrical basics, and solar installation.
All students who complete the training will have the opportunity to interview for a position with a local solar installer for a job starting at $21 per hour.
For more information or to apply, go to www.hobokennj.gov/resources/community-solar.
Last month, the City of Hoboken launched the Hoboken Renewable Energy Program that provides eligible residents with 10 percent more energy from renewable sources then the standard offering. So far, roughly 94 percent of eligible residents participate in the program. Hoboken has been purchasing 100 percent clean, non-polluting renewable electricity for all municipal facilities since April of 2019, one of the first cities in the tri-state area to do so.
In 2019, Mayor Bhalla established Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan, which commits Hoboken to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero by 2030.
In 2021, Hoboken was recertified as a Silver municipality through the Sustainable Jersey program and received an A- ranking from the CDP-ICLEI unified climate reporting system, a global rating system for climate action.
The Hoboken Community Solar Pilot program will also provide green business job training to 25 Hoboken Housing Authority residents. (Photo Credit: GRID Alternatives)