Avi Avidan, Avidan Management for the largest roof-top solar array

Avi Avidan and Josh Avidan

Avi Avidan, Managing Member of Avidan Management, is a long-time commercial real estate executive who understands the bottom line, but his motivation to install one of the nation’s largest rooftop-mounted solar systems was driven by more than savvy business sense. Avi also wanted to do what was right for the environment and for his tenants.

The rooftop solar system at the company’s refrigerated distribution facility in Edison was recognized as the largest in the country at the time of its completion in April 2011. Comprised of 17 acres and 17,745 solar panels, the system generates 4.26 megawatts of solar energy and reduced electrical costs at the building by 70 percent in just the first month after installation.

When Avi considered installing a solar system, he set a goal to reduce the building’s energy consumption by 30 percent and to generate 30 percent of its electric needs with renewable energy. First, an energy audit was conducted and a master plan was developed for the building, which was originally constructed in the late 1960s when there was little concern about energy use. The site had just a small amount of insulation and no barrier between the loading docks and the warehouse.

Avidan Solar Installation

In order to meet the goal of reducing energy consumption by 30 percent, Avidan Management invested $4 million in energy-efficient measures. These steps included: installing energy saving lights, insulation, high-speed automated doors, and automated temperature controls. Prior to these improvements, the machinery in the building was running inefficiently. The high-tech controls now in place allow the building engineers to control equipment based on need and to immediately pinpoint problems.

The benefits of the solar system go beyond just the building itself. Large solar systems provide predictability for power companies. In the case of this project, the panels produce more power than they use during the day and generate electricity for the grid when demand is high. The utility companies can rely on this electric generation to help them better manage their own sub-stations.

Avi credits state and federal government incentives for making it financially feasible for companies to install solar facilities. He has said, “Without the energy renewable certificates, none of the solar projects in New Jersey would have been built.” Additionally, Avi made a conscious decision to buy American-made solar products to show his appreciation for the financial assistance Avidan received.

PlanSmart NJ applauds Avi Avidan’s commitment to making sound business decisions that also improve the environment by using renewable energy and reducing his company’s carbon footprint.


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