PILESGROVE TOWNSHIP (CBS) — A groundbreaking ceremony has been held in rural Salem County, NJ for what is planned to be one of the largest solar farms in the country.

More than 70,000 solar panels are going up on farmland in Pilesgrove Township that had been slated for residential development.

It’ll be the largest solar power generating facility in the Northeast, according to Todd Carter, president of Panda Power Fund, one of the developers of the $85-million project:

“It’s low profile. It doesn’t tax the local economy from a fire and police standpoint.”

And it will start generating electricity next year, in time enough to power 5,100 homes.

Why New Jersey? Robert Mennella is CEO of Con Edison Development, the other developer of the project:

“Jersey’s got some great programs. They’re really bullish on solar energy.”

And projects like this, he says, might prompt neighboring states to step up their solar efforts.

Reported by: David Madden, KYW Newsradio

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