Berkeley township mayor Carmen Amato has announced a new New Jersey community solar facility. The reveal came after a Township Council meeting, where the municipality started sending out bids on energy development companies to install the new panels. According to the announcement made by Amato, the facility will be built on top of the old Berkeley landfill near Public Works.
Though the new New Jersey community solar facility was announced, there are still some details to work out. Amato states that the town expects the solar companies to bid on a lease of the town’s land for the arrays. He also confirmed that all costs associated with the construction of the project would fall on the bidder. To ease taxpayer concern, Amato explicitly stated that taxpayer dollars would not be used to fund the project.
Upon completion of the project, Amato states that the bidder, who will then manage the installation, will be able to reach consumers through a community solar program. The program will be overseen by the Board of Public Utilities and will include the sale of generated solar energy to homeowners and small businesses. In return for subscribing to the community solar program, they will receive credits on their monthly utility bills.
The council meeting ended in a resolution that opened up bidding for the installation and continued maintenance of the solar panels. To draw attention and increase the number of bids, New Jersey will offer incentives to the winning bid.
In his announcement for the New Jersey community solar facility, Amato talked about his green initiative and resiliency goals. Included in them is pushing the town toward renewable energies and reducing its carbon footprint. The mayor was upfront that the town would also benefit from the solar installation, saying it will generate revenue for Berkeley as it generates solar energy for residents to take advantage of.
No timeline was set during the council meeting.