Borough Examines Retrofitting Public Buildings With Solar Panels
The borough hopes to be in a position to bid on the installation of solar panels in about one year.
More than a year since council began to discuss installing solar panels atop some of the town's public buildings, the borough has begun meeting with solar providers about collector installation.
Borough manager Tom Metzler met recently with Johnson Controls, a leading global provider of products and services that optimizes energy and operational efficiencies of buildings, to discuss retrofitting the roofs of both the public library and public works garage.
The borough ultimately expects to secure a win-win deal with a provider who would finance the entire installation project, while the town generates a consistent savings on its electric bill.
“They are making the investment, not us," Metzler said. "So they need to make sure that it’s a project large enough that it’s going to warrant enough power generation for them to get a return on their investment.”
He said that because the amount of power that would be generated from retrofitting the library and public works garage roofs would achieve only half of what the developer requires to commit to the project, the borough had begun determining the feasibility of installing solar panels on additional public buildings.
Due to the nature of the public bidding process on the project, Metzler declined to share what other buildings the borough was considering retrofitting or how much the project was projected to save the borough.
“While this company has agreed to do the development work for us for nothing, for an opportunity to bid on it, other companies could bid against them so it would give the other companies an unfair advantage to know where they are," explained Metzler, who added that the borough expects to achieve significant savings by installing the collectors.
At this point, he said the borough is likely another year away from being in a position to select a bidder and perform the installation.
“There’s x amount of people and x amount of projects and you’re restricted by time," he said. "It’s a question of priorities."