New York-based AC Power announced April 4 the sale of its Old Bridge Township solar project and 25-year lease to NJR Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), making it the Wall-based company’s first Garden State community solar project.
AC Power affiliate Superfun LLC took title to the land, the former Global Sanitary Landfill, in February, AC Power added. The company did not disclose financial terms of the sale.
“We are excited that this true ‘trash-to-treasure’ solar project is closer to powering 400 local homes with clean energy,” AC Power founder and CEO Annika Colston said in a statement.
Inactive since 1984, the landfill is a former municipal and non-hazardous industrial waste site that was designated as a Superfund site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to the company.
AC Power began developing the site in 2020 for the future solar project. In October 2021, the project was awarded capacity by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities as part of its Community Solar Pilot Program, which allows utility customers to participate in a solar energy project that is remotely located from their property.
Additionally, as part of the program, AC Power partnered with Solar One and the County College of Morris to sponsor student enrollment in a workforce development program, which prepares them for careers in the industry.
A CEV representative told NJBIZ that, while CEV has a long history of investing in and operating commercial solar projects in the state, this is its first community solar project here.
“A community solar project is a large solar array, whose electricity is shared by more than a single property. This approach provides an option for those who might not [be] eligible for solar, such as renters and those who live in shared housing, to get the benefits of solar,” the representative explained.
Renewable energy firm CS Energy, based in Edison, will begin construction on the solar facility in June. VHB, an environmental engineering consulting firm based in Massachusetts, designed an ecological recovery plan for the site.
In February, Gov. Phil Murphy called for an accelerated target of 100% clean energy by 2035, meaning all the electricity sold in the state should come from clean sources of electricity by Jan. 1, 2035.
Projects such as the Old Bridge site and others will help reach that goal. CEV was also involved in other commercial undertakings in the state, including a former paper mill in Holland that is now home to a 17-megawatt solar project and a 25.6-megawatt solar project in Mount Olive — the largest capped landfill solar array in the state.
“NJR Clean Energy Ventures has a long history of working with AC Power and CS Energy to bring complex solar projects to fruition,” said CEV Vice President Robert Pohlman. “With projects like Old Bridge – our first New Jersey community solar project – we are committed to repurposing brownfields and other beneficial use sites to create clean energy. Any time we can transform underutilized space to produce renewable energy to benefit customers and advance the state’s clean energy goals it is win-win for all.”
CEV boasts a portfolio of 64 commercial solar projects in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut, with more than 430 megawatts of installed capacity.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:22 p.m. ET April 6, 2023, to remove a technical reference about the capacity of the project.