PSE&G building large solar farm on closed New Jersey landfill

PSE&G building large solar farm on closed New Jersey landfill

The 13-megawatt L&D Solar Farm in Burlington County will span more than 50 acres.

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October 30, 2015

Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) has marked the half-way point of construction on a 12.93-megawatt-dc (MW-dc) grid-connected community solar farm on the closed L&D Landfill in Burlington County, New Jersey Waste Management of New Jersey Inc. owns the L&D Landfill and PSE&G will own and operate the solar farm as part of its Solar 4 All Program. The engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the L&D Solar Farm is juwi, one of the world's largest and most experienced renewable energy companies.

The L&D Solar Farm will cover more than 50 acres and span the towns of Eastampton, Lumberton and Mount Holly, New Jersey, with 41,720 solar panels that will generate enough electricity to power 2,000 average-size New Jersey homes annually. When the project goes into service later this year, it will be the largest solar farm that PSE&G has built to date.

"By building community solar projects like the L&D Solar Farm and connecting them directly to the PSE&G electric grid, we are ensuring that all of our electric customers truly share both the costs and the benefits of solar power," says Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer, PSE&G. "New Jersey's energy policy clearly supports solar projects like this one that preserve open space while also making solar power available to all of our electric customers, not just those who own their own solar system."

The L&D Solar Farm is the 27th grid-connected centralized Solar 4 All project and the eighth built on a landfill or brownfield site. Once the L&D Solar Farm is in service, the Solar 4 All program will have utilized 150 acres of landfill and brownfield space by installing more than 140,000 solar panels, capable of generating nearly 45 MW-dc of solar power, which is enough to power about 7,500 homes annually.

"Waste Management is proud to partner with PSE&G on this important project," says John Wohlrab, director - government relations, Greater Mid Atlantic Area, Waste Management. "The former L&D landfill will have a productive new life as a solar farm that will be an environmental and economic asset for the region, reducing our carbon footprint and expanding the use of renewable energy in New Jersey."

"This project is another example of how the Board approved Solar 4 All program is helping to achieve the goals of the Christie Administration's State Energy Master Plan," said N.J. Board of Public Utilities President Richard S. Mroz.  "Solar arrays installed in New Jersey, such as those developed through PSE&G's Solar 4 All program, advance the State's goal of increasing diverse, clean, in-state generation and play a critical role as New Jersey continues to meet its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard with solar now accounting for almost 3 percent of the in-state generation mix with more than 1.5 gigawatts of capacity."

Since 2009, PSE&G has invested more than $500 million on the Solar 4 All program and created more than 2,000 jobs. PSE&G estimates that at the height of construction, there will be approximately 180 people onsite working on the L&D solar project in a range of jobs, including electricians, engineers, carpenters, heavy equipment operators and laborers.

"PSE&G is a national leader in landfill solar development," says LaRossa. "In addition to powering thousands of homes annually, the L&D Solar Farm is giving new purpose to landfill space that would otherwise have limited opportunities for development."

Solar 4 All is a 125 MW-dc community solar program that utilizes rooftops, parking lots, utility poles and landfills/ brownfields for large-scale, grid connected solar projects. There are currently 101 MW-dc of the 125 MW-dc total in service.