Posted by Heidi Schwartz
Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) has marked the start of construction on a 10.14-megawatt-dc (MW-dc) solar farm on the capped Parklands Landfill. The project, part of PSE&G’s Solar 4 All program, will transform 40 acres of landfill space into a clean energy producing solar farm, capable of powering nearly 2,000 average-size homes annually. The Parklands Landfill ceased operations in 1989.
“Landfills like Parklands offer prime opportunities for large-scale development that benefits New Jersey and our customers,” said Joe Forline – vice president, customer solutions – PSE&G. “We can convert this property into a productive asset that adds to New Jersey’s inventory of renewable energy resources without reducing the state’s open space. And by connecting projects like this directly to the electric grid, we ensure that all of our electric customers are sharing in the benefits of solar generation.”
Reclaiming brownfields and landfills has been a centerpiece of PSE&G’s innovative Solar 4 All program and the Parklands site, owned by Waste Management of New Jersey, Inc., represents the sixth installation of this kind. In early 2015, once the Parklands Solar Farm is in service, the program will have used 80 acres of landfill and brownfield space by installing more than 70,000 panels, capable of generating more than 20 MW-dc of power, which is enough to power about 3,000 homes annually.
“Waste Management is proud to partner with PSE&G to turn this landfill into a solar farm,” said Tara Hemmer, vice president of Waste Management’s Greater Mid-Atlantic Area. “Our company each day uses waste to produce enough renewable energy to power more than one million homes. Projects and partnerships like this one will continue to reduce our carbon footprint, make our nation less dependent on foreign energy, and improve our environment.”
Since 2009, PSE&G has invested more than $480 million on the Solar 4 All program and created more than 1,600 jobs. PSE&G estimates that at the height of construction, there will be approximately 100 people onsite working on the Parklands solar project in a range of jobs, including electricians, engineers, heavy equipment operators, ironworkers, laborers and truck drivers.
“We are showing once again that solar development in general, and our Solar 4 All program in particular, can be a jobs and economic development engine in New Jersey,” added PSE&G’s Forline.
Conti Enterprises Inc. of Edison, NJ, one of the state’s largest solar developers was selected as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. Conti (under its SunDurance Energy entity) performed the same role in construction of the 3.0 MW-dc Kearny Solar Farm, which is built on a closed New Jersey Meadowlands Commission landfill and is also part of the Solar 4 All program.
Solar 4 All is a 125 MW-dc program that uses rooftops, solar farms, utility poles and landfills/brownfields for large-scale, grid connected projects. The Parklands Solar Farm focuses on developing 42MW-dc of grid connected capacity on landfills and brownfields during the next several years.