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The law firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin's Green practice helped yet another county improvement authority save on its energy costs. In this instance, the green practice helped the Union County Improvement Authority with the procurement and financing of a plan to install 44 solar projects among 16 local municipalities or other government entities. Each facility which participates may realize a 52 percent reduction in energy costs according to an estimate by the Union County Renewable Energy Program.

You can read more about the program in MyCentralJersey.com’s article below.

UNION COUNTY — The county Improvement Authority on Monday announced that the Renewable Energy Program is scheduled to begin the installation of 44 solar projects with 16 local government entities, including seven municipalities, six boards of education, the county, Union County College and the Morris-Union Jointure Commission.

The solar panels will be installed on schools, libraries, community centers and fire/police stations, providing 3.4 megawatts of clean energy throughout the county.

The Union County Renewable Energy Program will be financed by the Union County Improvement Authority through a combination of low-interest municipal bonds and an equity contribution from the solar developer.

“In these times of tight budgets for schools and municipal services, Union County’s forward-looking solar program helps us save money, control costs over the long term and create jobs within the growing clean technology industry,” said Charlotte DeFilippo, executive director of the Union County Improvement Authority.

Tioga Energy, a leading provider of renewable energy services, was selected as the company to provide the solar energy. Under the terms of the program, the Union County Improvement Authority arranges financing for the solar energy installations. They are built without cost to the participating local governments. Any necessary maintenance or repairs are covered by Tioga Energy.

Energy provided by the proposed solar projects will provide for a portion of each local government’s energy needs at a lower rate. The Union County Renewable Energy Program estimates a 52 percent overall reduction in energy costs for the facilities participating in the program.

The Union County Renewable Energy Program was unanimously endorsed and approved by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

“We are doing everything we can to find creative ways to reduce the cost of doing business. This renewable energy program guarantees just that,” Freeholder Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon said. “This program will significantly reduce energy costs for not only the County, but for many municipalities and school boards.”

Participants include the township of Cranford, township of Hillside, city of Linden, city of Plainfield, city of Rahway, borough of Roselle, township of Springfield, Hillside Board of Education, Winfield Board of Education, Roselle Board of Education, Garwood Board of Education, New Providence Board of Education and Roselle Park Board of Education.

Preconstruction meetings with various participants have been conducted and groundbreaking is expected to occur this summer. The terms of the agreement with Tioga require all installation to be completed by May 2012.

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