Friday, December 12th, 2008

The Morris County Improvement Authority on Dec. 11 detailed its proposed Countywide Renewable Energy Initiative to approximately 100 school district representatives and municipal officials.

The authority conducted two informal information sessions about the program, which is being offered to all towns, public school districts and local authorities in the county.

The program, which has the support of the Morris County Board of Freeholders, calls for renewable energy sources such as wind devices or solar panels to be installed, where possible, on buildings or on the grounds of program participants.

The initiative is being financed by the Improvement Authority, with bonds guaranteed by the county. The Improvement Authority would absorb all debt service payments, which would be funded through the resale of the electricity generated by the alternative energy sources.

Morris County Freeholder William Chegwidden, liaison to the Improvement Authority, said becoming a partner with the county under this program will enable a town or school district to reduce a portion of its energy bills and not incur any out-of-pocket costs.

The freeholders Dec. 10 approved a $500,000 appropriation to pay for preliminary program costs.

The Improvement Authority has hired Metro Energy Solutions, a West Caldwell energy consulting firm, to determine if renewable energy devices would be feasible in the towns and school districts wanting to participate in the program, and where the devices could be placed.

Additional information about the renewable energy initiative may be obtained by calling the Morris County Improvement Authority at 973-285-6020.