Ramapo town plans to seek bids for solar power plant at Town Hall. It would also illuminate the police department housed in the same building. In December 2008, the town board voted to reject three bids as they did not include all of the engineering specifications. Bidders now will have to provide information including location of the solar panels and how much roof space will be needed. Ramapo is seeking a $200,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

We want to eventually bring renewable energy to all of our buildings, Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said. Town Hall will be the start.

The bids rejected ranged from $585,000 from Pinnacle Energy Tech Corp. to a low of $230,101 from Mercury Solar Systems. A third bid of $324,750 was received from LKM Ltd.

A public-benefit corporation, funded by state rate payers is offering nearly $14 million in 2009 in incentives, to switch to renewable energy sources.

St. Lawrence estimated that depending on the outcome of the town’s application, as well as the cost of electricity, Ramapo could recoup its investment in five to six years.

Other Rockland municipalities also are looking at alternatives to conventional power sources.

In Orangetown, the Highway Department plans to use a grant from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a biomass furnace using grass pellets to heat its building, Supervisor Thom Kleiner said.

Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack said that the solar panels are being considered for Town Hall, and a review is under way of the savings from seven hybrid cars that have been used for about a year.

Ramapo town is looking at reducing fossil fuel use with a five-year program beginning in 2010.