Many residents in the Hopewell Valley have been seeing flyers and banners throughout the Valley talking about the Hopewell Valley Solar Challenge. The Solar Challenge is a partnership between the Hopewell Township Environmental Commission and Hopewell Valley Green Team, together with EnergySage and Sustainable Jersey, and was organized as a competition among seven New Jersey towns in an effort to educate the public about the benefits of solar energy.

The seven towns—Hopewell Township, Galloway Township, Highland Park, Hoboken, Maplewood, Verona and Woodbridge—entered a $10,000 challenge to have the most new solar installation contracts in place by May 31, and The Hopewell Valley team has been named the winner. The $10,000 prize which is to be used to support a “green” energy project.

Environmental Commission and Green Team member Rex Parker, who has been a champion of this challenge, was pleased with the outcome but said in a statement that this is “only a step on the path.

“We must continue to find ways to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase the adoption of clean energy alternatives,” he said. “The sun is an amazing asset.”

The competition was sponsored by Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training, and financial incentives to communities pursuing sustainability programs such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other communitywide efforts.