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New Municipal Building to Feature Solar Technology

Plan includes no cost to taxpayers

As plans progress for the township to move into the new municipal complex on Route 9, Township Manager Helene Schlegel announced the new building will include solar technology meant to benefit the township and the county. 

Schlegel said the plan would have no cost to the taxpayers and will result in the township getting a credit on its electric bills. Working with the Monmouth County Improvement Authority's Renewable Energy Program the project will help not only the township, but surrounding towns and school boards as well.

The new building, Schlegel said, brings opportunities that the current location on Preventorium Road does not. "The Mayor and Council have strongly encouraged the administration to search out shared services that will save taxpayers money," she said. 

When it comes to funding for the program, Schlegel said the county provides attractive financing rates and a purchase pool for what she described as "Power Purchase Developers." The low costs then help the developers to provide the price breaks to the townships and other entities on the grid. Schlegel added that it is the county's responsibility to fund the development costs and then reimburses the developers.

The initial term for the purchase agreement is for 15 years and includes not only the panels on the roof of the complex but also on the ground and parking canopies that can be installed. The company that pays for the system also maintains it, insures it and handles any repairs according to Schlegel. At the end of the 15 years the township would then have the option to buy the system, have it removed or extend the contract.

All told the township will install 581 "photovoltaic modules" on the roof of the building. They will also look into expanding the program to include one of the canopies in the police department parking lot to help with their electric bill as well. 

Schlegel said the contract is expected to be awarded at the Nov. 1 meeting and the project should be completed by the end of the year. 

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