Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company LLC’s Mt. Arlington Landfill solar project entered commercial operation at a June 17 ribbon cutting attended by federal, state, and local government representatives. The 2.3 MWdc solar farm sits atop a capped landfill, giving new life to land that had sat idle for years.
Greenbacker purchased the solar farm from developer HESP Solar in late 2021. HESP and local officials spent several years coordinating efforts to make the land suitable for redevelopment and transform it into a functioning solar farm. Over the last few years, Greenbacker has partnered with HESP on 17 renewable energy projects. Ten of them are in New Jersey.
“This was a blighted property that was turned into a magnificent project to the benefit of our residents,” Mt. Arlington mayor Michael Stanzilis said at the ribbon cutting. “It brings clean energy to the people in our borough, and it puts money back into taxpayers’ pockets.”
Since the solar energy project began producing power for the borough—with whom Greenbacker has a long-term power purchase agreement—it has generated over 1.3 gigawatt-hours of clean energy, abating 971 metric tons of carbon. That’s roughly equivalent to the emissions from consuming 110,000 gallons of gasoline or burning 1.1 million pounds of coal.
US Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ 7th District) said at the ribbon-cutting: “Congratulations to all the folks at Greenbacker for completing this project, and to Mt. Arlington for converting a dump into something that can help save our economy and help save the planet.” Malinowski is co-author of the America COMPETES Act, a bipartisan proposal to help boost domestic manufacturing of essential materials, including solar panels and other clean energy components.
Community residents and project partners also attended the event, hosted by the borough. In recognition of the positive impact the solar farm has had on the area, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn and State Senator Tony Bucco presented the borough with a joint Senate-Assembly Commendation from the state of New Jersey at the ceremony.
Mehul Mehta, CIO of GREC, emphasized the importance of investing in renewable energy projects. “The energy transition isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. We’ve hit a critical juncture where it’s essential to scale the energy transition with projects like this sooner rather than later.”
Greenbacker’s fleet of clean energy projects comprises over 2.6 GW of generating capacity (including Mt. Arlington Landfill and assets that are to be constructed).