Monday, August 16, 2010

Part 3 on UCIA Solar Panel Plan

John Bury has posted Part 3 of his series on the Union County Renewable Energy Initiative which can be read  here.

Morristown, which installed solar panels at its waste water treatment facility, has earned $128,487 from its sale of SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates or Credits) so far this year. Morristown anticipates tripling that amount this year to $385,461.   Morristown anticipates the solar energy generated will result in a $116,500 savings this year.  That's a half million in one year alone.  During Morristown's first year of the solar panel operation in 2009, Morristown generated $279,496 on the sale of its SRECs from May to November.

According to this article, the total cost of  Morristown's project was $4.6 million, but the town received a $1.5 million from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program rebate, bringing its cost down to $3.2 million.  That $4.6 million included the purchase and installation of the solar panels, as well as maintaining the solar project for two years.  Morristown does not anticipate spending more than a few thousand dollars a year to maintain the project thereafter as, I'm told, the solar panels require very little maintenance and the project is basically self-run. 

It appears Morristown is reaping 100% of the benefits of its solar panel project without the need for a bunch of bloated middlemen.  Morristown doesn't have to buy back energy from a third party, nor does it share in the sale of its SRECs.  After Morristown pays off its initial investment, it's all gravy for the Morristown taxpayers.

It should be noted that Morristown initiated this project on its own.  Morristown is not part of the DeCotiis-led Morris County Improvement Authority's solar program, known as the "Morris Model" which Union County is following.

Morristown's model makes much more sense.  What a shame..


Anonymous said...

They may not be part of the Decotiis solar brigade like in U.C., but don't underestimate that firm's involvement in Morristown politics and business. After all their Township Attorney is a memeber of (who else!) the Decotiis firm!!!

NFS said...

Jesus Christ, you're right Anon 11:41! I wonder if these lawyers clone themselves ... they seen to be everywhere.

According to the article on the Morristown project, the solar panel program in Morristown was the concept of two of its employees, not Williams. It seems like Morristown took a rather straight approach to the project in contrast to what's being done here in Union County.