Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pse&g Plans 10 Solar Farms on Discarded Sites

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pse&g Plans 10 Solar Farms on Discarded Sites

Article excerpt

The state's largest electric utility, which has already built eight solar farms on old landfills and contaminated industrial sites, has unveiled a plan for 10 additional solar farms on similar abandoned sites throughout its New Jersey service area by 2021.

The $275 million plan by the Public Service Electric and Gas Co. would add 100 megawatts of solar power to the grid, enough to serve about 16,000 homes.

The company filed the plan Wednesday with the state Board of Public Utilities.

PSE&G has already built eight solar farms on old landfills and industrial sites, including one at the old Hackensack Gas Works site on the Hackensack River in Hackensack. That project generates about 1 megawatt of solar energy on a once-contaminated industrial property where coal was roasted at high temperatures to generate gas that powered Hackensack's streetlights.

The existing eight solar farms on 170 acres of landfill and brownfield space, along with another one that should be ready later this year, will produce a combined 53 megawatts of solar power, enough to serve 8,500 homes.

Such projects not only put once-contaminated or abandoned property back into use, they align with the state's Energy Master Plan, which calls for 22.4 percent of the state's energy to come from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2020.

They were built as part of PSE&G's Solar 4 All program, which includes 115 megawatts of solar from 174,000 solar panels on utility poles and 28 centralized solar projects on large industrial roofs, in parking lots and at schools, among other sites.

The Solar 4 All program, a $550 million investment by the company in the past seven years, "has helped to advance public policy by greatly increasing the amount of solar power in the state, and helping New Jersey reach its aggressive renewable energy goals," said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G president and chief operating officer. …

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