Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The Morris County Improvement Authority and the Morris County Freeholders have introduced a Countywide Renewable Energy Initiative.

The program is being offered to all municipalities, public school districts and local authorities in the county and consists of having renewable energy sources such as wind devices or solar panels installed, where possible, on buildings or on the grounds of program participants.

The initiative would be 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.

Freeholder William Chegwidden, liaison to the Improvement Authority, said partnering with the county under this program will make it more cost effective for a town or school district to “go green.”

“Implementing a renewable energy program can be much too expensive for an individual town or school district,” Chegwidden said. “Morris County’s initiative would allow a town or school district to go green by joining with the county to reduce a portion of its energy bills and not incur any out-of-pocket costs.”

Under the initiative, the county will hire an energy consultant to determine if renewable energy devices would be feasible in a participating town or school district, and where the devices could be placed.

The Improvement Authority plans to explain the initiative at two information sessions Dec. 11. The first, at 8:30 a.m. at the Morris County Library, is for school districts. The second, at 6 p.m. in the Freeholder Public Meeting Room in Morristown, is for municipalities.