Solar energy firm CS Energy and decarbonization-as-a-service provider Luminace have commenced construction on a 10-MW landfill community solar project in Berkeley, New Jersey.
The project, which consists of two 5-MW solar energy systems, is expected to provide more affordable, locally produced clean energy to 1,800 homes, with 51 percent of them being low and moderate-income households.
According to CS Energy, this is the first project to simultaneously close a landfill and build a community solar system atop it. The project is expected to save participants approximately $6.4 million over its 20-year lifespan.
Following the cessation of landfill operations in 1982, the Berkeley Township Landfill was left uncapped due to insufficient funds for closure. To address the issue, CS Energy and Berkeley Township formed a public-private partnership in 2020. Following this, CS Energy spent about two years completing all relevant studies and obtaining the required permits to bring the project to fruition.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with CS Energy and Luminace to close this landfill at no cost to our taxpayers and residents while also offering more affordable and cleaner sources of energy to our community,” said Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato. “My administration and the Council have set robust goals for resiliency and green initiatives and are pleased to have this outside the box, strategic method for generating revenue for the township on township-owned land.”
The Berkeley solar project is part of the state’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program and contributes to New Jersey’s goal of achieving 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.
“Our deep experience in the region, and on landfill solar projects specifically, enabled our team to successfully lead the development and design of this highly complex project while working closely with regulators,” said John Ervin, VP of Development at CS Energy. “We look forward to completing the construction of this project and delivering a high-quality solar system and significant energy savings to residents.”
CS Energy will have completed a total of 231 MW of landfill solar projects in the U.S. and 310 MW of solar projects in New Jersey once the Berkeley project is finished.