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Monday, August 11, 2008

New Jersey Masonic Home Goes Solar

The Grand Lodge of New Jersey's Masonic Home in Burlington is on the cutting edge of solar power technology. They are installing one of the largest solar panel arrays in the state. From today's Burlington County Times:

The Masonic Home of New Jersey, a retirement community on Jacksonville Road, is one of the latest to embrace this technology. The plan is to erect more than 5,000 solar panels on a 3-acre farm it owns off Oxmead Road.

“This seems like a no-lose situation,” said George Heflich Jr., who is on the board of trustees at the Masonic Charity Foundation and chairman of the solar panel project. “We are going to create our own electricity. We'd like to go green and do our part in the environmental sense.”

Heflich said the Masonic Home pays an electric bill of $1.5 million every year. The solar panels should supply 11 percent of the home's electricity needs. If it is successful, Heflich said the home would consider adding even more panels in the future.

“Ideally, if this works, in 10 to 15 years, we'd like to produce all our own energy,” he said.

Heflich said the project, if it moves forward, would be one of the largest in the state.

“For a nonprofit, I know we are cutting-edge,” he said.

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