Largest landfill solar project in N.J. also helps township recoup $2.3M in past taxes

Mount Olive landfill project.

Solar projects on landfills continue to come online across the country. According to the EPA, there has been an 80 percent increase in the number of landfill solar projects in the U.S. over the last five years, and last week saw the largest such project yet.

CEP Renewables, CS Energy, Terrasmart, Lindsay Precast and NJR Clean Energy Ventures teamed up on the 25.6 MWdc solar project is located in Mount Olive, N.J. In addition to reclaiming that land with renewable energy, the township can recoup nearly $2.3 million in past taxes while at the same time transitioning the former Combe Fill North Landfill Superfund site into a revenue-generating, clean energy asset.

“There are over 10,000 closed landfills in the United States, yet only a small fraction of these parcels have been redeveloped,” said Chris Ichter, Executive Vice President at CEP Renewables. “Transitioning more of these landfill sites into solar projects will create more local tax revenue, jobs, cleaner air, and affordable energy for residents throughout the country.”

The Mount Olive project involved the purchasing of the landfill by way of the redevelopment and tax lien foreclosure process. This structure was entirely unique and resulted in the project winning the 2021 Award for Innovation in Governance from the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

The Mount Olive project now serves as a model for the myriad other closed landfill sites throughout the U.S. – both in terms of the redevelopment process as well as the design and construction execution, while also providing greater tax revenue and more affordable clean energy for local communities.

CEP has extensive experience in the redevelopment of environmentally impaired sites, which is part of why the local township agreed to enter into a public-private partnership for CEP to redevelop this landfill site. Additionally, CS Energy has completed 216 MW of landfill solar projects since 2011, making the company a perfect choice to design and construct the Mount Olive project.

“This is our eighth project with CEP Renewables, our seventh project with Lindsay Precast and our fourteenth landfill solar project with Terrasmart,” said Mike Dillon, Director of Operations at CS Energy. “Our strong partnerships with each of these industry leaders also enabled us to efficiently deliver this high quality landfill solar project, which will provide significant financial and environmental benefits to this community long-term.”

NJR Clean Energy Ventures will own and operate the Mount Olive solar facility long-term. CEP Renewables owns the land for this project, which is being leased to NJR Clean Energy Ventures.

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