Ridgewood Fire Headquarters Goes Solar
Panels part of public-private partnership village formed in 2011.
The village's sustainable energy program is rounding into form, as evidenced by the solar panels installed on the roof of Fire Headquarters on East Glen.
In 2011, the village signed a 20-year contract to create a public-private partnership – Ridgewood Green RME, LLC – with several vendors in the hopes of considerably reducing energy costs.
The first leg of the partnership began with a management transition of the Water Pollution Control facility on Prospect Street in fall of 2011, and a few weeks ago installation of dozens of solar panels began atop Fire Headquarters.
Village Hall will be getting the solar treatment, as will EMS Headquarters, according to Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser.
The solar aspect of the energy partnership is simple – a solar company places panels on various municipal buildings and sells the energy back to Ridgewood at a lower rate than what they'd receive from current provider PSE&G.
The energy provided by Ridgewood Green will be offered to the village at a base rate of 12 cents per kilowatt hour, with a 3 percent annual increase built in for the remainder of the contract. PSE&G currently charges 15-16 cents per killowat hour, Rutishauser said.
"The village did not want to fund the capital costs" of a sustainable energy program, explained Rutishauser. "The risk is now on the vendors, and we have no indebtedness so we feel it's a really good deal for us. Plus, it helps us plan long-term knowing what the costs are in advance."
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