CEP Renewables and Luminace have achieved commercial operation of the 10-MWDC BEMS community solar landfill project, located on the Big Hill Landfill in Southampton, New Jersey, which is part of the state’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.
The project, the first of its kind in the state, is two 5-MW solar systems built atop a landfill and which span across two utility territories. This fixed tilt project uses ballasted solar racking technology from Terrasmart and bifacial solar panels.
In addition to converting a previously limited-use site into a solar power plant, the has helped the township to recoup approximately $2 million in back taxes and interest. Most of the several thousand households powered by this project are low-to-moderate income (LMI). CEP Renewables developed the project and contracted CS Energy as the EPC contractor throughout the construction phase. Luminace, a Brookfield Renewable company, is the long-term owner and operator of the project.
“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 VP at CEP Renewables. “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.”
Similar to CEP Renewables’ Mount Olive project, the BEMS project property was also purchased through the redevelopment and tax lien foreclosure process, which was unique prior to the Mount Olive project. Long abandoned by its former owner, the Big Hill landfill site accrued millions of dollars in tax liens. CEP addressed this issue by brokering a public-private partnership with the township that involved CEP acquiring the tax liens from the township, paying back all past-due taxes and foreclosing on the landfill property. CEP is now the owner of this site, and the township has been able to recoup roughly 40 years of interest and back taxes.
“We’re grateful to have been selected by CEP, one of the nation’s top leaders in landfill and brownfield solar redevelopment, to provide our expertise on this impactful project,” said Erol Ozkirbas, COO at CS Energy. “We were able to leverage our experience designing and constructing over 200 MW of landfill solar projects to address the complexities of this project and complete it safely, on time, and on budget.”
The BEMS project also contributes to New Jersey maintaining its ranking as the number one U.S. state for both installed solar capacity per square mile as well as for the most planned community solar capacity serving LMI households. This project also adds to CEP’s over 100 MW of solar projects developed in the state and further supports the state in achieving its goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
“Luminace is pleased to work with CEP Renewables, CS Energy, the Southampton Township and the local community on this most recent Community Solar project in New Jersey,” said Brendon Quinlivan, CEO of Luminace. “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.”
News item from CEP Renewables