def # 29 02/23/11
COUNTY TO INSTALL SOLAR PANELS ATOP OFFICE BUILDING;
PROJECT TO RESULT IN POWER SAVINGSTITLE
TOMS RIVER - Ocean County is going to count on the sun to offset some of its energy needs at the downtown government
Installation of 155 solar panels is expected to begin by April on top of 119 Hooper Avenue, which houses the Ocean County
The cost of the solar panel installation project will be covered by a $284,000 grant from the U.S. Energy Efficiency and
Conservation Block Grant program, according to Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to
the Ocean County Department of Buildings and Grounds.
The installation should take about 30 days to complete and then will be inspected by the state Board of Public Utilities
before the solar panels can begin to generate power.
"This is all part of Ocean County’s efforts to tap into proven alternative energy sources so we can offset our power
needs and save money at the same time," Vicari said.
William Santos, director of the Ocean County Department of Buildings and Grounds, during a presentation to the
Freeholder Board, noted that the average annual savings in electric usage charges will be $14,000. In addition, the county
expects to receive from the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits about $24,800 making the combined annual savings about
"The total estimated savings over the life of the panels will be about $722,000," Santos told the board.
He added that the system, which will be installed by EMSA Construction, Parlin, pays for itself in just short of six
years and its lifespan is about 25 years.
Ocean County has already been reaping the benefits of solar energy having installed solar panels at the Ocean County
Southern Complex on Haywood Road in Manahawkin. The solar panels, placed along a drainage basin at Ocean County’s Southern
Complex, here, are generating energy that is now providing power to the county’s Recycling Center on the site.
"The installation of the panels in the southern complex was completed in late July 2009 and began operating in
September," said Vicari. "That was our pilot project and so far it appears to be successful in producing energy."
Energy savings information for the southern complex can be accessed from the Ocean County government website at
www.co.ocean.nj.us and clicking on the link to Ocean County Solar Savings. There you will find the kilowatt hours generated
and examples of what the total energy generated equals.
Vicari said the solar panel projects are part of the recommendations made in the county’s Energy Master Plan, which was
completed in 2008.
"We are continuing to take steps to implement energy alternatives throughout county facilities that are environmentally
and economically beneficial," he said. "This is all part of the county’s continuing efforts of environmental stewardship.
Now more than ever we need to reduce our reliance on traditional energy sources and seek alternatives that are
environmentally friendly and will provide cost savings."