Firms Learn More About County Solar Energy Initiative

Published on August 13, 2009

Some 46 companies sent representatives to Morristown recently to learn more about the renewable energy project being proposed by the Morris County Improvement Authority.

The firms, from as far away as Michigan and Florida, are considering responding to the Authority's request for proposals to develop the pilot program, which calls for solar panels to be installed on several school buildings and county government facilities.

The potential bidders heard a presentation from Improvement Authority representatives and asked questions about the initiative. They now have until Sept. 14 to bid on the project.

The developer that is eventually selected by the Authority would own, operate and maintain the equipment, and would be able to take advantage of tax credits, depreciation and renewable energy revenue that is available in the solar industry. These incentives would then be passed on to the program participants by the developer, who would sell the solar energy generated to them at a fixed price, lower than the existing cost of retail energy, for 15 years.

The Authority received approval from the State Local Finance Board in June to issue up to $30 million in bonds, guaranteed by the county, to finance the program.

In addition to the county government, the Morris County Park Commission and the Boonton, Mountain Lakes, Parsippany-Troy Hills, West Morris Regional and Morris Hills Regional school districts are participating in the program.

The request for proposals may be viewed on the Improvement Authority Web site and clicking on "current bids." Information may also be obtained by calling the Improvement Authority at 973-285-6020.

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