The solar farm that has been built at the former French’s Landfill property off Sally Ike Road in Brick will soon be generating power, officials said.
Work on the solar array and the equipment to support power distribution from the area are just about completed, said Business Administrator Joanne Bergin. Last week, the township council took one of the final steps in the process to complete the construction of the array: granting Jersey Center Power and Light two easements on the landfill property that they needed in order to to hook into the grid.
“We’re working very hard and we’re very excited that it will be ready soon,” said Bergin, who gave a timeline of several weeks for power generation to start. The site should be turned on and generating electricity by the end of August or the first week of September, she said.
The extra easements around the site were required because JCP&L needed 30 feet of space to place larger electrical poles at the site. The poles will be larger than normal residential utility poles because they will be carrying power from its source.
The former landfill was operated privately for decades before being purchased by Brick Township in the 1970s. It ultimately became a federal Superfund site and the township was responsible for eventually closing it under orders from the federal government.
In 2012, the township council bonded $34 million towards the solar project, which will be paid back by a redeveloper, Standard Alternative, LLC. Standard Alternative paid for the solar array to be constructed and, in return, will provide the township as well as the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority with discounted energy and, depending on the market price of energy, share its profits with the township. The solar panels will be owned by Standard Alternative for 15 years, at which point they will transfer ownership to the township. The solar array has a projected lifespan of between 20 and 30 years.