Home Shore Environment Brown to Green: Brick Receives Prestigious EPA Award for Solar Farm

Brown to Green: Brick Receives Prestigious EPA Award for Solar Farm

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Mayor John Ducey receives an award from EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Catherine McCabe. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Mayor John Ducey receives an award from EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Catherine McCabe. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

What was once a landfill that accepted everything from human waste to construction debris is now capped, cleaned and generating green power. It is also what earned Brick Township the Re-Use Award from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Mayor John Ducey said hard work from township employees, engineers and planners, plus the efforts of EPA officials, led to the capping of the landfill – a federal Superfund site – and its ultimate transformation into a solar farm.

“Not long ago, this property was the longest open wound in our community,” Ducey said. “The land we are standing on now was contaminated, it was spreading, and there was a plume that was spreading throughout the rest of our town.”

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Though little of the solar farm can be seen from Sally Ike Road, beside which the former landfill sits, 24,000 panels stretch for acres behind and on top of the large hill that represents the cap. Glistening in the sun, the vast sea of panels produce 7,400 megawatt hours of energy each year.

Solar panels at the former French's Landfill site. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Solar panels at the former French’s Landfill site. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

“Brick Township has succeeded in turning the environmental liability of a former Superfund site into a community asset,” said EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Catherine McCabe, who presented the award Thursday during a ceremony at the site. “Renewable energy is a key component of our work to combat climate change, and it’s great to see that a landfill that once only generated contamination now can provide Brick Township with clean energy.”

The 42 acre site began operating in the 1940s. It was purchased by Brick Township in 1973 and shut down in 1979. The solar farm project has, at times, been controversial and the source of disputes between Brick Standard, LLC, its developer, and township officials. The township, under an agreement with Brick Standard, has the right to buy discounted power for 15 years, after which it will take full ownership of the solar array. The township also received upfront payments from Brick Standard.

Solar panels at the former French's Landfill site. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Solar panels at the former French’s Landfill site. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The project has drawn praise from environmental organization, including the Sierra Club, which congratulated Brick on the award.

“We hope other municipalities will use this as an example for recycling their own brownfields and most importantly, promoting renewable energy like solar,” said Sierra Club New Jersey Director Jeff Tittel.


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  • SoWhat?

    Ducey reaping the benefits of Acropolis 24% tax increase. Solar farm, marina and now using tax increase to rebuild 3 brand new parks while keeping and using the 24% tax increase. I think all the dems owe Acropolis an apology or they need to roll the tax back

    • JW

      Acropolis can go suck a lemon.

      • JJones

        Brick residents suck a lemon when both sides squeeze our wallets ..

    • JJones

      The mayor should fight our drugs and crime and high taxes and give the tax payers a break….No better than the past…same crap different names..

  • JJones

    did they clean up the front of the solar fields for this award ??

  • Chief Wahoo

    What did Ducey have to do with the Solar Farm ???? …… Is he still taking health insurance when he said BEFORE elections he wouldnt ????…..oh that’s right babyneedsnewshoes , just keep paying those PROPERTY TAXES Bricktucky, I think the next bill is due any day now.

  • Scott

    What was the cost to taxpayers? How much do we make every year on it? How long will it work? What are the up keep cost every year? Those numbers will tell the true story of good or bad.