Public Service Electric & Gas will install solar panels on utility poles around the township in a move the company said would generate clean energy and benefit customers.

The solar panels will be installed on utility poles with a clear exposure to the southern sky, proper wiring and where the installation does not interfere with other equipment, according to a company news release.  Crews will begin installing the solar panels in early- to mid-May.

PSE&G said it will get federal tax credits and eventually the savings from electricity generated will trickle back to ratepayers although savings won’t directly hit Teaneck customers.  The savings could collect for the state over the course of decades.

“These solar units bring the direct benefit of clean, renewable energy to all our customers since the electricity they generate is used in homes and businesses in the immediate neighborhood,” Al Matos, vice president for renewables and energy at PSE&G said in a release. “By utilizing these utility poles, we take up zero land space, which is a great way to install a large amount of solar capacity in a crowded state like New Jersey while making solar available to all.”

The utility is in the process of installing panels in more than 300 communities, the release said.  While touted as a boon to consumers and the environment, the panels have sparked controversy in some Bergen County towns.

Some residents and officials in towns including Ridgewood, Glen Rock and Wyckoff have panned the solar panels as being unsightly.

PSE&G received state regulatory approval in July 2009 for the project, which it has called “the largest pole-attached solar installation in the world.” The company said its solar programs will generate enough energy to power about 12,500 average size homes in New Jersey by the end of 2012.

source: teaneck.patch