Located on the Big Hill Landfill, the project is part of New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program and is the first-of-its-kind in the state for having two 5 MW solar systems atop a landfill that span across two utility territories. This fixed tilt project uses ballasted solar racking technology from Terrasmart, along with bifacial solar panels.
In addition to converting a previously limited use site into a solar power plant, the project has enabled the township to recoup approximately $2 million in back taxes and interest. The majority of the several thousand households powered by this project are low-to-moderate income (LMI). CEP Renewables developed the project and contracted CS Energy to perform the role as EPC contractor throughout the construction phase. Luminace, a Brookfield Renewable company, is the long-term owner and operator of the project.
“The BEMS project builds upon the success of our redevelopment project in Mount Olive, New Jersey, the largest solar landfill project in North America, through the use of a similar process with this project,” said Chris Ichter, executive VP of CEP Renewables.
Similar to CEP Renewables’ Mount Olive project, the BEMS project real property was also purchased through the redevelopment and tax lien foreclosure process, which was completely unique prior to the Mount Olive project. Long abandoned by its former owner, the Big Hill landfill site accrued millions of dollars in tax liens. CEP addressed this issue by brokering a public-private partnership with the Township that involved CEP acquiring the tax liens from the Township, paying back all past-due taxes and foreclosing on the landfill property. CEP is now the owner of this site, and the Township has been able to recoup roughly 40 years of interest and back taxes.
“This project continues to expand our New Jersey solar footprint that we’ve built over the last decade and contributes to our growth strategy across the U.S. to expand the decarbonization-as-a-service solutions available to our valued customers and communities that we serve,” said Brendon Quinlivan, CEO of Luminace.
In addition to turning a closed waste disposal site into a revenue generating asset, the BEMS project also contributes to New Jersey maintaining its ranking as the number one U.S. state for both installed solar capacity per square mile as well as for the most planned community solar capacity serving LMI households. This project also adds to CEP’s over 100 MW of solar projects developed in the state and further supports the state in achieving its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
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