CS Energy, Luminace break ground on 10 MW landfill community solar project in Berkeley

Innovative project to simultaneously close landfill and top it with new solar project

CS Energy recently began construction on a 10-megawatt landfill community solar project in Berkeley Township that consists of two 5 MW solar energy systems and is the first-ever project to simultaneously close a landfill and build a community solar system atop it.

Once finished, Australia-based CS Energy will have completed a total of 231 MW of landfill solar projects in the U.S. The Berkeley project will also provide more affordable, locally produced clean energy to 1,800 homes, 51% of which will be low- and moderate-income households. In total, this landfill community solar project will save participants roughly $6.4 million over the 20-year life of the project.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with CS Energy and Luminace to close this landfill at no cost to our taxpayers and residents while also offering more affordable and cleaner sources of energy to our community,” Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato said. “My administration and the council have set robust goals for resiliency and green initiatives and are pleased to have this outside-the-box, strategic method for generating revenue for the township on township-owned land.”

After landfill operations ceased in 1982, the Berkeley Township Landfill remained uncapped due to lack of funds available to close the landfill. CS Energy and Berkeley Township entered a public-private partnership to close the landfill in 2020 and CS Energy spent nearly two years completing all relevant studies and permitting work required to make the project a reality.

“Given CS Energy’s market-leading experience as a developer and EPC contractor on landfill solar projects, coupled with their community solar experience and significant footprint in the Northeast, we are proud to collaborate with CS Energy once again as they successfully develop this landmark project,” Brendon Quinlivan, CEO, Luminace, said. “CS Energy and Luminace have a longstanding relationship and strong execution track record over the last decade, and we are pleased to partner with CS Energy again to enable affordable clean energy to local residents as well as a long-term asset to the local community.”

Part of New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, which is now being established as a permanent, long-term initiative, this project also contributes significantly to the state’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 — the most ambitious clean energy goal in the nation. Once this project is complete, CS Energy will have completed 310 MW of solar projects in the state.

“We are excited to once again be working alongside Luminace on this first-of-its-kind project,” John Ervin, vice president of development at CS Energy, said. “Our deep experience in the region, and on landfill solar projects specifically, enabled our team to successfully lead the development and design of this highly complex project while working closely with regulators. We look forward to completing the construction of this project and delivering a high-quality solar system and significant energy savings to residents.”