NEW BRUNSWICK – The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded a contract to construct a massive solar energy project that is expected to save $13 million in energy costs over the next 15 years at its regular meeting last night.
The county will be entering into a power purchase agreement with Edison-based SunDurance Energy, who will develop and build the project, and Bedminster-based KDC Solar LLC, who will finance the program. The project will be completed at no cost to the county, according to county officials.
The 6.79-megawatt ground-mounted system will be built at the county’s Apple Orchard Lane Complex in North Brunswick Township. The successful developer has stated that the solar panels will produce enough energy to provide 100 percent of the power needs at the complex.
Once complete, the county will save between $722,000 and $1.15 million each year for 15 years, according to estimates. Currently, the county pays 13 cents per kilowatt hour for energy. This rate is expected to increase every year. The solar panel rate will be a flat 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour for the life of the 15-year project.
“The solar project is precisely what our ‘Go Green, Save Green’ program is all about,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, Chair of the county’s Public Works and Transportation Committee. “By moving to an alternative, environmentally friendly way of producing power, we are not only benefiting our environment, we are saving significant dollars and are creating high-paying construction jobs here in our county.”
“I cannot underscore enough the importance of the project from an environmental standpoint and from and economic standpoint,” said Freeholder Charles E. Tomaro, chair of the county’s Engineering and Planning Committee. “We will save $13 million in taxpayer money by producing our own energy in an environmentally friendly way.”
“The Solar Energy Savings Program is a natural outgrowth of the many energy-efficient programs Middlesex County has undertaken over the past several years under the guidance of my colleague Freeholder Polos,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “In fact, this project was one of the recommendations made in an energy audit of our Apple Orchard Lane complex that Freeholder Polos championed. I want to recognize both Freeholder Polos and Freeholder Tomaro for their work on behalf of the county and our taxpayers.”
Middlesex County was recognized in 2007 with the Clean Energy Leadership Award from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
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