Friday, June 12th, 2015

The Morris County Improvement Authority has voted unanimously to hire a Florham Park based engineering firm, Matrix New World Engineering, Inc., for renewable engineering consulting services for the county’s solar energy projects.

Matrix, which has experience on numerous major government projects, will review and advise the MCIA on construction management issues related to the county’s solar projects. A second consultant is expected to be hired soon to offer economic analysis and solar renewable energy credit consulting services.

Information and advice provided by these consultants will help guide the county on future steps to take regarding its existing and proposed solar energy projects.

“We are seeking to determine the viability of building out our solar projects, as planned, or whether to pull back in part or whole on those efforts,’’ said Morris County Administrator John Bonanni, who is MCIA chairman.

A specially formed committee reviewed applicants that responded to an MCIA request for proposals and recommended Matrix. That committee is now reviewing the second group of respondents for the second consulting job, with a decision likely by the end of the month.

The county freeholders, at the board’s June 10 meeting, endorsed the hiring of Matrix by a split 3-2 vote, with one abstention.

In hiring Matrix and the second consultant, the Improvement Authority is seeking to replace its current energy consultant, Gabel Associates, which offered its resignation effective June 1. Gabel has agreed to stay on for a short time until the MCIA finds a replacement.

The MCIA last month also hired Matthew Jessup, of McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, as its new general counsel, bond counsel and energy counsel, effective June 1. He replaced longtime counsel Stephen Pearlman, who recently resigned. The Authority has moved expeditiously to find a highly qualified replacements for Pearlman and Gabel Associates to ensure a smooth transition to handle key, ongoing projects.