CEP Renewables breaks ground on 19 MW brownfield solar project in New Jersey

CEP Foul Rift solar brownfield New Jersey

CEP Renewables has begun construction on its 19 MWdc grid supply Foul Rift solar project located in White Township, Warren County, New Jersey. The project is being developed on a brownfield site that formerly hosted a composting facility for nearly 30 years.

Prior to ceasing operations, the facility had a long history of violations received from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). CEP’s development of this project will complete the environmental remediation at this site while also providing reliable clean energy, pollinator habitats and greater tax revenue for the local community. This fixed-tilt, bifacial solar module project is expected to reach commercial operation by September 2024.

“This project is the perfect example of the use of the renewable energy subsidy to not only reduce the regional carbon footprint, but also remediate environmental damages that would not have otherwise been addressed,” said Chris Ichter, executive VP at CEP Renewables. “We are pleased to have been able to leverage our prior experience on similarly challenging landfill and brownfield solar projects to develop a successful public-private partnership with White Township that will positively impact generations to come.”

When CEP first came across this property, it had been contaminated as a result of the composting facility’s operations. An extensive environmental investigation indicated that the soils were contaminated with metals including arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that necessitated the use of an institutional control.

In total, the investigation identified 92 separate notices of environmental violations from NJDEP. To bring the site into compliance with NJDEP, CEP removed the remaining berm of compost and waste materials and worked with NJDEP to successfully resolve the remaining violations and terminate the solid waste permit. 

As part of its partnership with White Township, in exchange for certain interconnection easement rights, CEP also agreed to create a porous pavement walking path circulating throughout the Township’s recreational fields. This is an improvement that the Township had been planning to build, but which had long remained unfulfilled due to lack of funding. 

In addition to turning an environmentally hazardous site into a revenue generating asset, the Foul Rift project also contributes to New Jersey maintaining its ranking as the number one U.S. state for installed solar capacity per square mile. This project also further supports the state in achieving its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 – the most ambitious clean energy goal in the country.

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