Solar panel canopies are popping up all over town—and the latest spot is the Bridgewater Commons Mall.
The canopies are currently being constructed on the top floor of the parking deck, and panels will also be placed on the roof of the mall itself.
The township council approved a resolution Thursday to sign a developers agreement with Safari Energy, LLC, which is building the panels.
“This is for work at the mall, and it consists of building structures similar to the ones at the high school on the parking deck of the mall,” said township engineer Robert Bogart. “They already got all the permits, they also have permits for structures on the roof of the mall, the flat ones.”
Councilman Filipe Pedroso asked whether the tall canopy structures on the roof of the deck might affect homes on the hill, which overlook the mall.
“Is there any possibility the sun can reflect on the panels, and strike the homes?” he asked.
Bogart said he has been told there is no glare from the panels because they are absorbing the sun’s rays, not reflecting them.
Other than this, Pedroso said, he believes this is a great project for the township.
“It is environmentally sound, and less fossil fuels are being burned,” he said.
According to Troy Fischer, senior general manager of the Bridgewater Commons Mall, no parking will be lost with the canopies being built on the roof of the parking garage.
The construction is not expected to impact parking during the holiday season, but there is no specific end date for the work at this point.
This is just another in a long line of solar panel canopies being built throughout the township, including at the Bridgewater Senior Center, Bridgewater-Raritan High School and the Bridgewater YMCA.
Much of the work for those is being done through a , which is handling the costs.
The mall project is not part of the county-wide work.
What do you think about so many solar panels being built in the township? Is it too much already, or will this be a good way of conserving energy and saving money?