New Jersey utility, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), has filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to install 100 megawatts of new solar power on landfills and brownfields by the end of 2021. The projects would be an extension of the utility’s Solar 4 All program and the utility said it would invest roughly $275 million in the projects.
The Solar 4 All program, according to the utility, utilizes rooftops, parking lots, utility poles and landfills or brownfields for large-scale, grid connected solar power projects. Currently the program has 115 megawatts installed and will have a total of 125 megawatts of solar power installed by the end of 2016.
"For the past several years our Solar 4 All program 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, president and chief operating officer, PSE&G. "If approved, the extension would build on this success by allowing us to develop additional grid connected, universal solar on dormant landfills and brownfields, which is a key component of New Jersey's Energy Master Plan."
By developing on landfills and brownfields the utility can access land that would otherwise go unused and make it productive—also, since the land isn’t suitable for other purposes, it can often be accessed at lower prices. PSE&G said that developing solar on such properties can cost 40 percent less than typical residential net-metered solar projects. Similarly using large rooftops and parking lots, the utility can find uses for underutilized resources.
If the 10 proposed projects are approved it would nearly triple the amount of solar power that PSE&G will own and operate on landfills and brownfields in New Jersey. It currently has 53 megawatts of solar on such plots. "We have identified dozens of landfills in our electric service territory that would be prime candidates for solar development, so the approval of the requested Solar 4 All extension would allow us to return even more of these sites to good use by building grid connected solar farms on land that would otherwise have very limited development options,” explained Courtney McCormick, PSEG&G vice president, of renewables and energy solutions.
The utility’s approach to solar power has been somewhat unique in terms of approaching spaces not commonly used for solar power. For instance, it’s installed solar power on 174,000 utility poles.Tweet