MORRISTOWN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tioga Energy, a leading provider of renewable energy services to commercial, government and non-profit institutions, and the Morris County Improvement Authority (MCIA) of New Jersey today announced the completion of 19 solar energy installations located on 16 schools and government facilities throughout the county. The projects are the first to be financed through the public-private collaboration known as the Morris Model and provide the county with 3.1 MW in clean energy and more than $3.8 million in savings.
In January 2010, MCIA issued $22.3 million in low-interest government bonds to finance the projects. As the developer, Tioga owns, operates and maintains the solar installations and sells the electricity produced by the systems to the county’s schools and local government agencies at a fixed rate for the duration of a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA). New Jersey-based SunDurance Energy provided all design and installation services.
In addition to the low cost bond financing, Tioga Energy utilized New Jersey state incentives available through the sale of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) as well as federal income tax incentives not available to the county as a public entity, offsetting significant portions of total project costs. As a result, Morris County benefits from electricity prices approximately 35 percent less than those of the local utility.
“Tioga Energy has been an invaluable partner, both in developing the unique financing structure of the Morris Model for the first time and in the smooth delivery of these projects,” said Morris County Freeholder William Chegwidden, liaison to the Improvement Authority. “The success of the Morris Model establishes Morris County as the nation’s foremost example of how the government and the private sector can work together to adopt ambitious renewable energy programs swiftly and affordably.”
The 16 sites participating in the project include buildings used by the Morris County government and Parks Commission, as well as public schools across five area districts. Construction on the project’s first installation at the William G. Mennen Sports Arena began in June 2010.
“In a matter of months, Tioga Energy and installation partner SunDurance Energy took us from groundbreaking to completion, enabling us to ‘go solar’ with virtually no disruptions to our operations,” said David Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Parks Commission. “With the addition of 1.6 MW in solar rooftop and parking canopy structures, Mennen Sports Arena now receives 30 percent of its electricity from renewable resources and is a regional solar project showpiece.”
“SunDurance Energy is proud to have partnered with Tioga Energy on this important model project. We successfully completed a logistically challenging task, on time and on budget, while Tioga made this one of the smoothest PPA projects in which we’ve participated,” said Al Bucknam, CEO of SunDurance Energy. “Through our collaborative efforts, we’ve facilitated a substantial reduction in operating expenses for the local government and school districts at a time when every dollar counts.”
“We are fortunate to have aligned ourselves with a county now recognized as a national leader for its progressive and cost-effective renewable energy programs,” said Paul Detering, Tioga Energy CEO. “Together we’ve created an economically viable blueprint for local governments to work with the private sector to deliver economic value and sustainability at the community level. Tioga Energy commends MCIA for its initiative and we look forward to seeing the immense benefits of the Morris Model expand throughout New Jersey and across the country.”
About Tioga Energy:
Tioga Energy enables commercial, government and non-profit organizations to reduce energy costs while lowering carbon emissions. Through the SurePathSM solar power purchase agreement (PPA), Tioga Energy owns and operates renewable energy systems that provide organizations a hedge against energy price volatility and accelerate their access to clean energy without any capital outlay. For more information call 877.333.9787 or visit: www.tiogaenergy.com.