Friday, July 17th, 2009

The Morris County Improvement Authority has issued a request for proposals from firms interested in developing the authority’s pilot Renewable Energy Program.

The Improvement Authority’s initiative calls for renewable energy sources – in this case solar panels – to be installed on buildings of program participants.

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

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.

“The participants in this innovative program will be able to reduce a portion of their energy bills and not incur any out-of-pocket costs,” said Morris County Freeholder William Chegwidden, liaison to the Improvement Authority.

The developer of the Photovoltaic, or solar energy system eventually selected by the Improvement Authority would own, operate and maintain the equipment, said Chegwidden.

“The developer would be able to take advantage of tax credits, depreciation and renewable energy revenue that is available in the solar industry,” he said. “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 request for proposals may be viewed on the Improvement Authority Web site, www.co.morris.nj.us/improvement, and clicking on “current bids.” Information may also be obtained by calling the Improvement Authority at 973-285-6020.

Proposals are to be received by the Improvement Authority by 1 p.m. Aug. 31, 2009.