Turtle & Hughes Subsidiary Captures $30 Million Photovoltaics Contract

Sept. 24, 2010
TurtleEnergy, Manasquan, N.J., will install a $30 million PV system at the Lawrenceville School, a private school in Lawrenceville, N.J. According to

TurtleEnergy, Manasquan, N.J., will install a $30 million PV system at the Lawrenceville School, a private school in Lawrenceville, N.J. According to an article at www.nj.com, Frank Millard, TurtleEnergy's president and owner of Turtle & Hughes, is an alumnus of Lawrenceville's class of 1949 and is working on the project with his son, John Millard, a founder of TurtleEnergy and a member of the school's class of 1979. The article said TurtleEnergy, a solar developer with over 30 completed projects, was established in 2003 as a subsidiary of 87-year-old Turtle & Hughes.

According to a press statement released by the Lawrenceville School, the PV system will produce 6MW and provide 90 percent of the school's electrical needs. Plans and specifications have been submitted to local, county and state authorities for the necessary regulatory approvals. Provided all permits have been obtained, construction is expected to begin in December 2010, and the solar farm will be operational in the second quarter of 2011. The solar farm will utilize single axis solar trackers that follow the sun's path, boosting electrical output. The array, along with collaborative educational programs, offers a “live laboratory” for Lawrenceville's students to work with state-of-the-art solar design. The school is researching ways that may enable continued farming, of either crops or livestock, under and around the solar trackers.

In a school press statement on the installation, John Millard said TurtleEnergy has developed a wide range of solar energy projects over the past seven years. In addition to installing a 255kw system at the Turtle & Hughes headquarters in Linden, N.J., TurtleEnergy has installed PV systems for the New Jersey Institute of Technology; a variety of local schools; and a 700 kW system for a 350,000-square-foot warehouse owned by East Coast Warehouse & Distribution Corp.

TurtleEnergy promotes the 87 years of relationships that Turtle & Hughes has in the electrical market as an advantage over other solar companies. According to www.turtle.com, “Both end users and contractors have looked to Turtle Energy to leverage two unique ingredients: extensive design and systems engineering experience, and a uniquely advantageous relationship with our parent company, Turtle & Hughes, which draws from its relationship to some 3,000 members of the electrical installation community.”

Turtle Energy's solar growth in the Garden State's solar market is another example of the state's fertile financial climate for photovoltaics, where state and local utility subsidies have helped bring down the cost of installing a PV system. One distributor that took advantage of these subsidies is W.W. Grainger, Inc., Lake Forest, Ill. An article in The Times of Trenton says the 3,900 solar panels Grainger installed at its 434,000-square-foot distribution and service center in Robbinsville, N.J., will cut the facility's electrical bills by more than $200,000 annually.