A community solar landfill in Southampton, New Jersey has entered commercial operation, according to project partners CEP Renewables and Luminace.
This initiative, part of the state's Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, features two 5 MW solar systems atop a landfill, spanning two utility territories. Utilizing Terrasmart's ballasted solar racking technology and bifacial solar panels, this fixed tilt project repurposes previously limited-use sites for clean energy production.
“We are pleased to have converted yet another previously limited use site into a source of revenue as well as more affordable, clean energy for local communities,” said Chris Ichter, executive vice president, CEP Renewables, in a statement. “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.”
The Big Hill Landfill project not only generates clean energy but also facilitates the Township's recovery of approximately $2 million in back taxes and interest. The solar installation serves predominantly low-to-moderate income households, making clean energy more accessible to a broader demographic.
CEP Renewables spearheaded the project's development, with CS Energy acting as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor during the construction phase. Luminace, a Brookfield Renewable company, assumes the role of the long-term owner and operator.
. The success of the BEMS project draws parallels with CEP Renewables' Mount Olive project, the largest solar landfill initiative in North America.
The project's real property acquisition involved a unique approach, mirroring the Mount Olive project's redevelopment and tax lien foreclosure process. CEP Renewables brokered a public-private partnership with the Township, acquiring tax liens, settling overdue taxes, and eventually foreclosing on the landfill property. This strategic approach enabled the Township to recoup decades' worth of interest and back taxes.
Brendon Quinlivan, Luminace CEO, spoke positively about the partnership, saying: “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.”
The BEMS project transforms a former waste disposal site into a revenue-generating asset and bolsters New Jersey's standing as the top U.S. state for installed solar capacity per square mile and planned community solar capacity for low-to-moderate income households. This project aligns with CEP's portfolio of over 100 MW of solar projects in the state and supports New Jersey's goal of reaching 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.
Source: CEP Renewables