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By Cleve Bryan

MILLVILLE, NJ (CBS) — Even a heat wave has a silver lining when you’re talking about the solar power being generated at Millville’s new 7.4 acre solar field.

The solar project connected to the city’s sewage treatment plant was free through a power-purchase agreement, and it saves Millville big bucks.

“It’s our first solar project, and it’s a great project for us. We’re going to save around $150,000 a year,” says the city commissioner and public works director Dale Finch.

The solar field went online in January and was celebrated last week with a ribbon-cutting. The solar field produces close to 1.5 megawatts of electricity which, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, is enough to power about 210 homes in New Jersey.

“On a clear day with no clouds like today, we’re producing more than the plant is consuming, and we’re getting credit for what we’re putting back in the grid,” says Public Works Superintendent Richard Jones.

Millville’s contribution to New Jersey’s clean energy portfolio helped the Garden State become just the third to reach the one gigawatt solar power mark.

According to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, there are more than 15,500 residential, 3,000 commercial, 300 school, and 200 government solar projects in the state.

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