NY landfill Superfund site transformed into large-scale solar power farm
Brick Township in Ocean County, N.J., has received the first-ever "Excellence in Site Reuse Award" from the Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 for its use of solar energy at a Superfund Site.
NEW YORK CITY, NY, July 28, 2015 -- Today, Brick Township in Ocean County, N.J., received the first-ever "Excellence in Site Reuse Award" from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 for its use of solar energy at a Superfund Site. The award recognizes the township's reuse of the 42-acre former Brick Township Landfill site to create a 24,000 solar panel array that supplies electricity to its government buildings and community parks.
Started in the 1940s, the landfill accepted many waste materials, including sewage, construction debris, and contaminated liquids. A private owner operated it until 1973, when Brick Township acquired the property. The township continued operating the landfill until its closure in 1979, and the site was placed on the EPA's Superfund National Priorities List in 1983. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection initially had the lead responsibility for the cleanup until the Agency took it over in 2007, and the work at the site was completed in 2013.
The work at the site has included placing a cap on the landfill to prevent rainwater from seeping into the landfill and spreading contamination. In addition, there are restrictions placed on the property that prevent the underlying groundwater from being used as drinking water. The groundwater will continue to be monitored to ensure that the cap continues to function properly. While the cap was being designed, Brick Township worked to develop the plan to install solar panels on the landfill.
A solar development company, Standard Alternative, LLC, is currently operating the solar array and will continue to operate it until 2029. The township plans to take over ownership at that point. Brick Township estimates that the array will save the township about $13 million through discounted energy prices over the course of 15 years. The installation of solar panels began in June 2013, and the solar array became operational in 2014. It generates about 7,400 megawatt-hours of energy per year.