On December 2, 2022 in Red Bank, New Jersey, CEP Renewables, CS Energy, Terrasmart, Lindsay Precast and NJR Clean Energy Ventures together announced that they have completed the largest landfill solar project in North America.
This 25.6 megawatt (dc) solar project is located in Mount Olive, New Jersey and has enabled the township to 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.
“We’re pleased to have been able to work closely with our reliable, long-time partners to convert yet another, previously unusable, landfill site into a renewable energy generating power plant,” said Chris Ichter, Executive Vice President at CEP Renewables.
“There are over 10,000 closed landfills in the United States, yet only a small fraction of these parcels have been redeveloped. 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,” he added.
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. As these landfills have existed for several decades, the key driver of this recent trend is the landfill expertise that has been developed by companies such as CEP Renewables.
CEP has extensive experience in the redevelopment of environmentally impaired sites, including the BFI South Brunswick landfill, the Old Bridge Clay Pits site, the Warren Quarry and Sand Pit in Monroe Township, the BEMS Landfill in Southampton Township; and the Fibermark Paper Plant brownfield in Holland Township.
This vast experience 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.
“We’re proud to have been selected by CEP Renewables to provide our expertise for this impactful landfill solar project due to our track record of completing these challenging projects safely, on time and on budget,” said Mike Dillon, Director of Operations at CS Energy.
“This is our eighth project with CEP Renewables, our seventh project with Lindsay Precast and our fourteenth landfill solar project with Terrasmart. 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,” he added.
In addition to the substantial benefits provided to the town, the large size and the challenging nature of this capped landfill solar project, the Mount Olive project is also notable in that it 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.
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.
CEP Renewables designs, develops, and builds grid-connected, utility-scale solar projects. With global expertise developing projects in Europe, Asia, and North America, the company has now turned its attention to New Jersey and supporting the governor’s ambitious Energy Master Plan (requiring 100% utilization of clean energy by 2050).
CS Energy is an industry-leading engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) energy firm that designs and builds optimized projects in solar, energy storage, and emerging energy industries.
Photo courtesy of CEP Renewables.