In 2011, the Ocean County Board of Freeholders is going to count on the sun to fulfill its energy needs at the downtown government complex. The project will begin by April 2011 by installing 155 solar panels on top of 119 Hooper Avenue, which houses the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The solar panel installation project will take about 30 days to complete and will be inspected by the state Board of Public Utilities before generating the power.The cost of the project will be covered by a $284,000 grant from the U.S. Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.
“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 said that the savings in electric usage charges will be $14,000. In addition to the amount received from the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits about $24,800 making the combined annual savings about $38,800.”The total estimated savings over the life of the panels will be about $722,000,” Santos told the board.

Ocean County already earns through the installation of solar power 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 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.”
Vicari said “We are continuing to take steps to implement energy alternatives throughout county facilities that are environmentally and economically beneficial and 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.”