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Case Study: Offsetting Water Treatment Plant Energy Use with Solar


New Jersey American Water contracted Edison Energy to conduct solar photovoltaic surveys on 16 of their New Jersey locations. Many of these locations were remote and forested, and contained large reservoirs as part of NJAW’s water distribution system.

In Edison Energy’s Engineering Solutions team’s efforts to complete the surveys in a comprehensive manner, the team conceptualized utilizing the vast surface area of the reservoir to host the photovoltaic system. NJAW agreed and initiated a pilot project to review the potential of a floating solar photovoltaic system.

This undertaking has been slated as the Northeast’s first commercial floating photovoltaic system. Overall, the project was a complete design and development plan for an innovative approach to create a solar array that would float on an open body of water, with the rigor to endure the harsh conditions that are widely prevalent in the northeastern region of the United States.

Project Results & Key Metrics:

Northeast’s first commercial floating photovoltaic system

Estimated to produce approximately 136,000 kWh annually

Unique design using special docking system

Engineering News Record Project of the Year Honorable Mention, Innovation

Customer Value

The entire floating solar photovoltaic system is a 112 kW Direct Current system that is estimated to produce approximately 136,000 kWh annually. The design was especially unique, in that a specialized docking system that contained floats filled with polystyrene was used, allowing the docks to not only float, but withstand severe weather conditions during freeze / thaw cycles.

Download a PDF of the NJAW Canoe Brook case study here

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