After some $9 million in capital expenditures over a two-year period, JER Partners/Herring Properties turned the 20 year old commercial office building at 23 Orchard Road in Skillman, NJ that was in disrepair into a Class A corporate facility that is nearly 100% leased. The building boasts tenants such as Johnson & Johnson, Oscient Pharmaceuticals, Blessing-White, and Twin Hens. There are over 800 people working full-time at the facility. The building was practically empty just before the construction began a few years earlier. As part of the overall scope of work completed, Herring Properties installed new programmable HVAC controls and rooftop units; renovating common areas including the lobby, cafeteria/bistro, health club and restrooms; using LEED certified recycled green products on all improvements, and installed a solar energy system adjacent to the building.
The footprint of the existing office building and surface area parking take up 240,000 square feet. It was decided a larger and less expensive installation could be installed on the empty floodplain at the rear of the property rather than on the roof (insufficient space) or parking lot (required complete reconfiguration). This required Borrego Solar and Herring Properties to work closely with the Montgomery Township and local commissions to prove the merit of installing solar on the floodplain. The completed installation used Solar Flex Rack ground-mount fixed-tilt racking to hold 4,758 Yingli 260 watt modules strung to two Advanced Energy Solaron 500 kW inverters. The 1,237,080 kW PV system covers nearly six acres of land and the lowest solar module component sits at a minimum of one foot above the NJ Flood Hazard line.
Power to the office building was intermittent causing multiple outages and voltage drops during high peak times. The solar array provides 40% of the building’s energy consumption, providing for consistent power during the high demand times such as summer days when the sun and heat are strong. The installation was purchased entirely by Herring Properties, and 65% of the installation cost was offset by the New Jersey PSEG Solar Loan Program.