Category Archives: Green Initiative

Monmouth County Saves Green by Going Green; Freeholder Mallet Spearheads The Initiative On Behalf Monmouth County

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The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has partnered with a solar power developer to install solar panels at five county locations that will allow the county to reap the environmental and economic benefits of clean energy technology.

“With this agreement, Monmouth County positions itself as a leader in New Jersey for sustainable energy production,” said Freeholder Amy A. Mallet, who spearheaded the initiative on behalf of the county. “The stars are aligned so that the county is getting new roofs, we’re saving $3 million, we’re creating jobs and it’s all being done at no cost to the taxpayers.”

The 15-year Power Purchase Agreements authorized by state law allow the county to contract with a solar energy firm to install and maintain the system. Under the contract, the county will provide the sites and will agree to purchase the electricity generated. Dobco Inc. of Wayne will install, maintain and accept electricity production responsibilities over the 15-year life of the contract.

Solar companies are able to sell power at a discounted rate as a result of regulatory and tax incentives which are currently available in order to buoy alternative energy projects.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously approved a resolution to enter into a solar power partnership with Dobco at its May 27 meeting.

“Unlike recently implemented solar programs in other counties, Monmouth County will not incur debt to finance or provide guarantee for any part of the project,” Mallet said.

The solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems will be installed at five county locations that are among the highest consumers of electricity. PV systems use canopy and roof mounted solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. All but the Human Services Complex in Freehold Township will be getting new roofs. At Human Services, solar panels will be installed in the rear parking lot.

All five locations combined will generate about 1.5 megawatts of electricity. They are:

· Hall of Records in Freehold;

· County Courthouse in Freehold;

· John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold Township;

· Human Services Complex in Freehold Township, and

· Library Headquarters in Manalapan.

The county is expected to save $144,000 dollars in fiscal year 2011 and $2.5 million over the course of the 15-year agreement. Adding the $600,000 value of the new roofs brings the total value to more than $3 million.

The county’s solar initiative comes less than two years after the Board of Chosen Freeholders created a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Committee, which conducted an energy audit of county buildings that indicated where the PV systems should be installed. Freeholder John D’Amico credited the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Committee with paving the way for the county’s solar projects.

“This is an innovative program, and it puts Monmouth County on the forefront in taking advantage of energy credits that New Jersey permits,” said D’Amico, who has advocated for federal legislation to supply funding for energy reduction projects. “New Jersey is second to California in solar energy.”

With this contract, Monmouth County becomes a state leader in its efforts to create clean, renewable, sustainable energy, Mallet said.

“The catastrophe which is occurring in the Gulf of Mexico is undeniable proof that we need to find real alternatives to the industrialization of our precious natural resources,” Mallet said. “Clean and renewable energy is the direction we all need to take. This bold effort demonstrates that Monmouth County is serious about seeking alternative fuel sources and protecting the environment.”

By completing these PV projects, the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be equivalent to:

· 1,286 metric tons of coal per year;

· 246 passenger vehicles per year;

· 144,655 gallons of gasoline per year;

· 2,991 barrels of oil per year;

· annual electricity usage of 167 homes per year, or

· 32,976 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

The county is in the planning stages now for additional phases of implementation at other county facilities and properties.

“This is an excellent beginning,” Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry said.

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Facebook, green energy, Green Initiative, Hall of Records, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders

Scharfenberger’s Green Initiative: Buy 5 New Trucks With SnowPlows While Laying Off 40 Employees

Gerry Scharfenberger likes to think of himself as the father of the Middletown Green Initiative, after all it was his idea even though there isn’t much to show for it except for the promise to turn off some lights and eventually install a few solar panels on the top of the Arts Center.

That was until now.

The Township has just taken possession of 5 brand new,beautiful Chevy Sliverado pick up trucks equipped with snowplows at a cost of $33K each.

Can someone tell me what he and the Township Administrator must be thinking when they purchase over $160K worth of trucks when the Township started the year with a $5M budget deficit? Do they think that the road to fiscal responsibliity must be driven down in trucks that cost the taxpayer $33K each?

How is a purchase like this justified when the Township has plans to layoff about 40 employees? Who is going to be driving these trucks? Maybe the Township will have the laid off employees use them to drive to the unemployment office. I am sure that the Police Department is glad that they agreed to a salary freeze for this year. We need to save every penny possible so that purchases like this can be afforded. At $33K each this totals well over $160K, which is the equivalent of salaries for 4-5 average employees on the Township payroll.

The Mayors’ Green Initiative should be about saving the green not spending it, especially since the Township does not have it to spend.

Cha-Ching!

Instead of parking these new vehicles in the Public Works Yard they are located in the school parking lot at Croydon Hall. They have not been registered yet, either.

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Filed under Chevy Silverado, Green Initiative, layoffs, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown