A small New Jersey township grows its economy and resilience as a contaminated paper mill site becomes a solar energy farm

In the 1990s, a former paper mill site was abandoned and fell into disrepair in Holland, New Jersey (population 5106).

CEP Renewables was sought out by the property owner, a company that decommissions former industrial sites, to redevelop this land and revitalize it economic value to the community.

Now, on February 21, 2023, CEP Renewables, CS Energy and NJR Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) together announced the conversion of a former contaminated brownfield into a 17 megawatt (MW) solar project.

This fixed-tilt solar array was constructed in two phases on a site that previously housed a paper mill complex.

The successful remediation and redevelopment of this site has transitioned this underutilized space into a source of carbon-free, clean energy and increased tax revenue for the local municipality.

With its expertise in redeveloping contaminated brownfield sites, CEP’s team reviewed the entire environmental history and provided critical review and recommendations before the completion of the remediation by the responsible party.

This helped to significantly reduce the time needed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to issue the remedial action permit.

Prior to CEP Renewables assuming control of the site, the area was remediated, deed restricted and covered with an engineering control. CEP’s team enhanced the existing engineering controls to be compatible with the solar redevelopment.

CEP Renewables harnessed its experience redeveloping Superfund landfills and brownfields to transition a former contaminated site into sustainable, green energy.

We’re pleased to leverage our extensive experience with redeveloping Superfund and brownfield sites to turn this previously contaminated property into a source of solar energy, jobs and tax revenue,” said Chris Ichter, Executive Vice President at CEP Renewables.

We were able to efficiently overcome the unique challenges this site posed by working closely with the property owner and the EPC, CS Energy, at every stage of the project,” he added.

CEV, one of the largest solar owner/operators in New Jersey, acquired the Holland project from CEP Renewables in 2021, and now owns 63 commercial solar projects throughout New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut, with a portfolio of more than 430 MW of installed capacity.

NJR Clean Energy Ventures has a long history of working with CEP Renewables and CS Energy on complex solar projects to bring the benefits of clean energy to communities throughout New Jersey,” said Robert Pohlman, Vice President of NJR Clean Energy Ventures.

We are committed to building a clean energy future with projects like Holland. By repurposing brownfields and other underutilized spaces to produce clean, renewable energy, CEV is helping to deliver clean energy innovations that drive emission reduction goals and power a more sustainable future,” he continued.

CEP Renewables and CS Energy also overcame several challenges, including the permitting and construction of a second phase of the project overlapping with the first. Additionally, the project had to be built around a historic farmhouse and powerhouse located on a portion of the property.

We are glad to have had the opportunity to work alongside CEP Renewables on another impactful brownfield solar project,” said Michael Dillon, Director of Operations at CS Energy.

The completed redevelopment of this property now generates clean energy for the state and additional tax revenue for the local municipality,” he concluded.

CEP Renewables designs, develops, and builds grid-connected, utility-scale solar projects n Europe, Asia, and North America. The company has now turned its attention to New Jersey, and is supporting the Governor’s ambitious Energy Master Plan (requiring 100% use of clean energy by 2050).

CEP Renewables uses complex remediation, engineering, and permitting strategies that allow it to bring particularly challenging projects from conception to energization.

Photo courtesy of CS Energy.

See CEP Renewables website.

You must be logged in to post a comment