- Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) filed an application to to invest $275 million in ten solar installations on landfills and brownfields over the next five years, Courier News reports.
- The proposal is part of PSE&G's Solar 4 All program, which funds utility installation of solar on rooftops, parking lots, utility poles, landfills and brownfields. Extending it would allow the utility to triple its installed solar generation on the “dozens” of landfills and brownfields identified in its service territory.
- Currently under the program, PSE&G has installed over 150,000 solar panels on 170 acres, with 8 solar farms on landfills and brownfields while expecting bring a ninth one online by the end of the year.
As solar grows, investors and developers are finding "greenfield" sites that are ideal for utility-scale installations harder to locate, according to an EUCI summary, especially in urban areas. Cheaper so-called greenfield sites away from load centers make up in increased costs associated with transmission and interconnection.
So now developers are eyeing landfills and brownfields, which are common in urban areas. Often considered environmentally unfit for use and too expensive to rehabilitate, they can be ideal for solar projects. That is PSE&G's intention.
“PSE&G is already a national leader in landfill and brownfield solar development,” said Courtney McCormick, vice president of renewables for PSE&G. Regulatory approval will “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.”
A U.S. Conference of Mayors estimate found that returning brownfields to productive economic use in the nation’s 100 biggest cities could generate additional annual tax revenues between $205 million to $500 million.