ILR Solar Farm Transforms Landfill and Supplies Renewable Energy Directly to Customers

ILR solar farm
Image courtesy of PSE&G.

PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest utility, announced that its ILR Solar Farm is in service, supplying renewable energy directly to the utility’s energy grid.  The 7.75 megawatt-dc universal solar power plant covers 21 acres of the closed ILR Landfill with 23,834 solar panels that will generate enough electricity to power more than 1,200 average-size New Jersey homes annually.

Industrial Land Reclaiming, Inc. owns the ILR Landfill and PSE&G will operate the solar farm as part of its Solar 4 All® program.

“The development of universal solar projects like this one benefits New Jersey and our customers,” said Courtney McCormick – vice president, renewables and energy solutions – PSE&G.  “Transforming this property into a solar power plant adds to New Jersey’s renewable energy resources without reducing the state’s open space, and connecting the solar panels directly to the PSE&G energy grid ensures that all of our electric customers share both the costs and the benefits of solar energy.”

The ILR Solar Farm is one of 31 Solar 4 All universal solar power plants that are in service and the ninth built on a landfill or brownfield site. The Solar 4 All program has utilized more than 190 acres of landfill and brownfield space by installing more than 174,000 solar panels, capable of generating 52.5 megawatts-dc of solar energy, which is enough to power about 8,500 homes annually.

Since 2009, PSE&G has invested more than $500 million on the Solar 4 All program and created more than 2,000 jobs. The company estimates that at the height of construction, there were approximately 70 people onsite working on the ILR Solar Farm in a range of jobs, including dock builders, electricians, engineers, heavy equipment operators, ironworkers and laborers.

Vanguard Energy Partners of Branchburg, N.J., a national solar construction firm, was the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the ILR Solar Farm.

Solar 4 All is a 158 megawatt-dc program that utilizes rooftops, parking lots, utility poles and landfills/ brownfields for universal solar projects. There are currently 124 megawatts-dc in service.

In November 2016, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved a second extension to the Solar 4 All program that authorizes PSE&G to invest up to $80 million over the next three years to build an additional 33 megawatts-dc of solar farms exclusively on landfills and brownfields in PSE&G’s electric service territory.  PSE&G expects that the 33 megawatts-dc will be enough capacity for three or four additional solar farms.  By 2020, Solar 4 All will have 158 megawatts-dc in service, of which more than 85 megawatts-dc will be built on landfills and brownfields.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.