Monday, March 24, 2014

A solar mess in Somerset, Morris and Sussex Counties.

In 2011, Somerset, Morris and Sussex counties bonded, respectively, for $26,790,000, $34,300,000 and $27,700,000 to have approximately seventy solar generating facilities installed on government owned property.  The counties all guaranteed the debts in the event of a default by the firms that were awarded the contracts to design and construct the facilities. 

According to an Appellate Division decision issued today (on-line here), the two vendors are now "embroiled in arbitration to determine which one of them is liable for cost overruns and construction delays that have affected their ability to perform under the contracts with" Morris and Somerset Counties.  According to the decision "[t]he projects have all undergone extensive delays and remain incomplete to this date."  Somerset and Morris Counties have expressed concern that the failure of the projects to yet generate income to pay the bond payments exposes those counties "to the risk of having to honor their pledge to the bond holders, leaving the taxpayers to bear the cost."