New Jersey township turns landfill into a clean energy asset

6 December 2022

CEP Renewables, CS Energy, Terrasmart, Lindsay Precast and NJR Clean Energy Ventures have jointly announced that they have completed the largest landfill solar project in North America. This 25.6 MW 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 transforming the former Combe Fill North Landfill Superfund site into a revenue-generating, clean energy asset.

Chris Ichter, executive vice president at CEP Renewables, commented: "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."

According to the EPA, there has been an 80 % increase in the number of landfill solar projects in the USA over the last five years. As these landfills have existed for several decades, the key driver of this recent trend is said to be the landfill expertise developed by companies such as CEP Renewables. CEP has extensive experience in the redevelopment of environmentally impaired sites, and CS Energy has completed 216 MW of landfill solar projects since 2011.

In addition to the benefits provided to the town, and the large size and 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 USA, in terms of the redevelopment process, the design and construction and its use of a financial structure that provides 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 the project, which is being leased to NJR Clean Energy Ventures.

Image: The Mount Olive solar facility in New Jersey, USA (courtesy of CEP Renewables)

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