In response to a state mandate that municipalities achieve 30% renewable power by 2020, Union County announced an initiative in 2010 that provided $500,000 to help municipalities, public schools and other local authorities install solar or wind devices to generate renewable energy. The goals of the program were to build county-municipal partnerships, reduce reliance on retail electricity and offset the costs of renewable projects. The Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) administered the program and all debt incurred for capital projects was structured and held by the Authority. Working through UCIA gave projects lower cost onsite analysis and installation and better pricing for power purchasing agreements with private companies that would install, maintain and own the system. The local entities benefit by saving money on their energy bills that can be directed to other government services. More than 31 solar projects were installed on public buildings, which are expected to save taxpayers more than $5 million dollars over 15 years. The Initiative ended in 2013. The County is considering a second round.
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