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Gloucester City Taxpayers File Lawsuit Against the Solar Panel Contractors for Not Finishing Job

William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews

GLOUCESTER CITY NJ——Sixty MPH plus wind gusts between 12:30pm and 1 PM on June 3, 2020 damaged the solar panels at the Cold Springs School, Cold Springs Drive. Fortunately both the Pre-School and the K-3rd Grade School were out of session when it happened otherwise someone might have been seriously injured or killed.  The National Weather Service for South Jersey documented gusts that day between 58mph and  67 mph today between 12:30pm and 12:40pm. 

The contractors who were involved in the installation of the panels were sued by the School Board because  the drainage system wasn't finished to the specification of the original agreement.

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GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (December 14, 2021)--This past March the Gloucester City Board of Education filed a  lawsuit against National Energy Partners, Gloucester City Solar, Conductive Capital and the principals of those companies mainly Jeremy Connor, David Munsky, Mike Cocchimiglio, and David  Velasco.  Screen Shot 2021-12-14 at 6.34.25 PM

The taxpayers of Gloucester City hired the company's named above in July 2018 to install solar panels at the Cold Springs School  complex, the High School and the Gloucester Middle School. The  Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) called for the defendants to design,  install and construct a Photovoltaic Electricity Generation System which included the required gutters, downspout and drainage system for each structure erected at each of schools mentioned. Since the contractors failed to install the gutters, downspouts and drainage systems they breached the contract, stated the lawsuit.

It further states the Defendants wrongfully delegated that part of the agreement to subcontractors without the Board’s knowledge. 

 

“The Defendants failed to comply with and deviated from the express instructions contained in the Request For Proposals (RFP), Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and its addenda. The Board notified the Defendants of the deficiencies in the PV System in writing on numerous occasions; however, Defendants failed to take any action to remedy the issues and refused to engage in a potential resolution of the claim,” stated the lawsuit.  Furthermore, “The total cost for the Board to have the gutters, downspouts and drainage systems could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

"The Board demands judgement against the Defendants for compensatory damages; incidental and consequential damages; liquidated damages; punitive damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs of suit; and such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.”

Richard W. Hunt, Esq., from the Parker McCay Law Firm, who is representing the Gloucester City Board of Education and City taxpayers, said this evening, "The solar panel work is not at issue at all. The reason for the lawsuit is because the drainage system that was suppose to be installed on the carport structures that support the solar panels was never completed. The drainage system is necessary to keep any water or ice buildup off the roofs of those structures."

"We have no issues with the solar panel work. That was all done satisfactory. We are very very close to dissolving the lawsuit in a manner that will be favorable to the school district, " said Hunt.  When asked about the solar panels that the wind blew off the top of the carport structure in 2020, Hunt said he was not familiar with that incident. "The lawsuit we have been speaking about has nothing to do with that episode. We just want to make sure we get our drainage system installed properly, and this is all that this is about. "

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