Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight
New measure would harness private money, expertise to drive energy efficiency at hospitals, wastewater-treatment plants, universities, prisons
The state is aiming to promote private-sector investment in energy-related projects at government-owned facilities, a step that could lead to lower energy bills and more resilient infrastructure, according to advocates.
The scheme addresses the familiar problem of finding a source of funding to undertake a wide range of projects that could replace deficient energy systems with more reliable and less costly alternatives at government facilities like municipal buildings, wastewater-treatment plants, universities, and prisons.
A bill (S-2958) to be taken up Thursday by a Senate committee would allow private companies to partner with public entities to upgrade energy-related facilities and even develop new generation systems, including solar, wind, and microgrids. But its primary focus is managing the energy load at these locations more efficiently, cutting use and saving dollars.