County Solar Program Installations Nearly Complete

UNION COUNTY–The Union County Renewable Energy Program is now 90% complete, with 28 of 31 facilities already installed and generating renewable energy savings for 15 governmental agencies, Union County Improvement Authority Director Charlotte DeFilippo announced today. The final installed systems size will total 3.37 megawatts (MW).

The last three facilities, scheduled to be opened in Roselle and Berkeley Heights, will be operational by mid-October, DeFilippo added.

“Our local governments and public entities who are participating are at the vanguard of the green energy revolution,” said DeFilippo. “This is a generational accomplishment for Union County.”

Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella agreed.

“Our solar installations are saving taxpayer money on energy costs, creating a renewable energy source, and reducing pollution,” said Mirabella. “These are accomplishments all Union County residents can take pride in.”

Tioga Energy owns, operates, and maintains over 13,800 solar panel modules providing Union County facilities with renewable energy generated from their systems through a Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA. Through the use of PPA’s, Union County facilities are expected to be able to reduce their cost of energy by approximately $5M over 15 years. Tioga’s installation partner, a joint venture between Pro-Tech Energy Solutions and Huen Electric, Inc., is engineering and constructing the systems.

The Renewable Energy Program was started in 2011 by the Union County Improvement Authority through PPA’s, which are common throughout the solar industry. In power purchase agreements, the property owners do not own the solar equipment. They simply pay for the electricity generated by the photovoltaic panels, at a rate lower than the price of conventional electricity.

The participating governments and public entities are Morris-Union Jointure (Berkeley Heights), Berkeley Heights Board of Education (2 pending) , Cranford, Garwood Board of Education, Hillside Board of Education, Linden, New Providence Board of Education, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle (1 pending), Roselle Board of Education, Roselle Park Board of Education, Union County Vocational Technical Schools (Scotch Plains), Union County College (Cranford), and Winfield Board of Education.

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