200,000 Solar Panels Mounted on Utility Poles in New Jersey

200,000 Solar Panels Mounted on Utility Poles in New Jersey

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photo credit: Petra SolarAT&T announced Wednesday an agreement that will provide the communication network for 200,000 solar panels being installed on utility poles throughout New Jersey for supplying renewable electricity directly to the grid.

Petra Solar, a company that makes photovoltaic panels especially for utility poles, is currently installing their products on existing state poles, outfitting each location with the smart grid technology that eventually will deliver energy efficiency and cost-savings to consumers’ homes via the NJ utility company.

Last summer, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved a $200 million contract between Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) and Petra Solar in which the solar company agreed to install the panels, which are currently being mounted on poles in six cities and more than 300 towns.

Each panel will individually generate electricity and send that electricity directly to the grid via the voltage lines attached to its respective pole.

The AT&T agreement will allow the solar panels, which have their own smart-grid communication tools built in, to communicate with PSE&G’s smart grid via the AT&T wireless network.

(READ more in CNet News)