Bloomfield Applies for Sustainable Jersey Grant...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bloomfield Applies for Sustainable Jersey Grant to fund Initial Planning for Transformative Green Energy Future Proposal

Township Plans Include Installation of Solar Panels and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Municipal Parking Lots

BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The Township of Bloomfield has applied for a $10,000 grant through the Sustainable Jersey program that would allow it to take the first step in planning a green energy future for the municipality. If awarded, the grant would fund initial site planning for large-scale Solar Panel and Electric Vehicle Charging facilities that would be installed around the municipal complex. If ultimately enacted, the innovative proposal could reduce the township’s energy costs and carbon footprint while making Bloomfield a destination for electric vehicle recharging, providing substantial new municipal revenue and driving new customers to local small businesses.

“This grant funding will hopefully allow us to take the first step toward what we envision as a Green Energy Future for Bloomfield,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “By installing solar panels in our municipal parking lots we will be able to reduce our energy costs and move a step closer to the truly transformative idea of making Bloomfield a destination for electric vehicle recharging, attracting drivers to our downtown to enjoy our local restaurants and stores while their cars recharge.”

The $10,000 Sustainable Jersey grant would go towards designing the Solar Panels and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, at which point the Township would take advantage of funding opportunities using a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a solar energy provider. A PPA is a compact where energy providers cover the high cost of installing a large solar electric system, and in return may sell some the generated energy back to the host township at a discounted rate. This will be the first time Bloomfield has availed itself to this program and hopes to use it in other locations around the township.

“In PPAs, the solar provider remains responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system, and the Township may buy energy generated at the site for contractually lower prices, or form a compact with other towns to buy energy in bulk,” said Township Manager Matt Watkins. “Once our vision of a solar parking lot is realized, we will partner with neighboring towns to receive the best possible rates on clean energy, in keeping with our goal of making Bloomfield a green city, and reducing energy premiums for our residents.”

Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs such as erecting solar panels and electric car charging stations. The Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program has provided over $2.4 million in grants to towns for community-based projects in New Jersey.          

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