New Jersey Creates First Of Its Kind Regional Approach To Renewable Energy Development

The Morris County Improvement Authority has created the first regional renewable energy programme in New Jersey with the aid of its legal counsel, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Wisler, LLP, and its financial and energy consultants, ACACIA Financial Group, Inc., Gabel Associates, and Metro Energy Solutions.

Municipalities, school districts, divisions of county government, and autonomous local governing bodies within the county (such as sewage authorities) can all profit from renewable energy thanks to the Authority’s Program.

DeCotiis built the Authority hybrid programme to enable the Authority to use its low cost financing to give private solar developers with a cheaper cost of capital for designing, obtaining permits for, building, operating, and maintaining solar panel systems on properties held by local government organisations taking part in the programme. The local government bodies will get power produced by the solar systems for fifteen (15) years at a cost below current tariff rates in exchange for hosting the systems. About twenty-five percent (25%) of the energy requirements of the participating local government entities’ facilities will be met by this infusion of clean renewable energy, which will also bring some budgetary stability to an area of facility operations that has a reputation for being unpredictable.

In order to produce below-tariff rates, the hybrid authority programme combines the low-cost County guaranteed authority issued bonds with specific federal tax incentives available to private developers but not generally available to government entities. It also incorporates solar renewable energy certificates from New Jersey.

Governmental organisations in the County have shown a strong interest in taking part in the Program to the Authority. Over forty-four (44) government agencies representing seven million square feet of roof area have submitted expressions of interest to the Authority thus far. Similar to this, the Authority has received inquiries from various local and international businesses interested in taking part in the Program’s private solar developer side.

The Improvement Authority released a Request for Proposals on July 16, 2009, looking for a private solar developer for the initial pool of participating government institutions, which included sixteen (16) buildings that could potentially accommodate solar systems with a 3..3 MW capacity. The Request for Proposals from the Improvement Authority is available online at 35 commercial companies attended the Improvement Authority’s pre-proposal conference on July 27, 2009, to ask questions about the Program and to indicate their interest in submitting proposals.

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