Solar powered future

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Cherry Hill Sun

The funds just keep rolling in for reusable energy.

Last week, the township received funding from The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, a portion of the federal stimulus plan, for use of solar energy. According to the grant program’s Web site, the program will be providing more than $3.2 billion for cities, counties and tribal governments across the nation for reusable energy purposes.

The funds are allocated through a formula based on a municipality’s population. Cherry Hill will be receiving a little less than $720,000 for its planned solar panel project. The funds will also be used to replace the old HVAC system at the municipal building.

Any municipality across the country is eligible for funding as long as it has a population of more than 35,000 or if it is one of the top 10 populated municipalities in a state.

As part of the township’s “Green Action Plan,” representatives designed a 100 kW solar paneled system to be installed on top of the municipal building, a project that will come at no cost to local taxpayers.

“Now, with new federal funding from the recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, specifically the energy and environmental block grant created by U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Cherry Hill will be investing those funds into a variety of common-sense initiatives that are steeped in conservation and will save local taxpayers money in the reduced cost of operating municipal buildings,” Mayor Bernie Platt said. “This money comes to us at a time when we are eager to put the finishing touches on the centerpiece of our efforts: powering Town Hall with renewable energy while significantly cutting back on the facility’s electricity usage. Last year, we secured $285,500 from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program for a rooftop 100kW solar-panel project.”

See this week’s print edition of The Sun for the full story.