The Morris County Improvement Authority has embarked on a 3.2 MW renewable energy program pilot that encompasses 19 public school and county government buildings.
Under the program, known as the Morris Model, 14,000 solar panels are being installed at the participating school and county government buildings throughout the county. When completed, the total project will result in an energy savings of more than $3.8 million for the participants.
Among the county government facilities that are part of the renewable energy project is the William G. Mennen Sports Arena in Morris Township. This 1.57 megawatt solar project involves the installation of solar panels on all three ice rink rooftops, with elevated solar structures covering more than 500 parking spaces.
David Helmer, director of the Morris County Park Commission, said the solar panels will produce 30 percent of the facility's electricity.
Besides the Mennen Sports Arena, the solar systems will also be installed at Boonton High School, the high school parking lot and the John Hill and School Street schools in the Boonton School District; Morris Knolls and Morris Hills high schools in the Morris Hills Regional School District; Mountain Lakes High School and the Wildwood School in the Mountain Lakes School District; the Brooklawn, Central, Littleton and Troy Hills schools in the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District; West Morris Central and West Morris Mendham high schools in the West Morris Regional High School District; the county government's Schuyler Building and the building's parking facility in Morristown; and the county Voter Machine Tech Center in Hanover.
The initiative is being financed by the Improvement Authority, with bonds guaranteed by the county and no debt service or out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the local entities.
Tioga Energy, Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., with offices in New York, is the solar energy provider, and SunDurance Energy, of South Plainfield, N. J., is the installation contractor.
Additional information about the renewable energy initiative may be obtained by calling the Morris County Improvement Authority at 973-285-6020.