In an unusual way to settle a case for air pollution violations, the Sunoco Eagle Point refinery antied up $295,160 to build a 46-kilowatt solar array on the roof of a West Deptford elementary school in Gloucester County.
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) required the refinery to pay for the system, plus a fine of $98,390, for violations of the New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act. The infractions occurred between 2006 and 2008. The school is located adjacent to the refinery.
The more than 200 panels will be able to generate about 15 percent of the school’s energy needs; rights to the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) also go to the school. “This project is making something positive out of a negative, creating green energy that is good for the environment and public health,” said DEP commissioner Bob Martin.
The Sunoco plant is currently idle. The company has cited weak demand and increased global refining capacity. Eagle Point processed some 150,000 barrels of oil per day when in operation.