Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

Jim Walsh Cherry Hill Courier-Post

GLOUCESTER TWP. – A solar-energy project at a former landfill here is expected to produce emission-free electricity for consumers and revenue for the municipal government.

Officials broke ground Wednesday on the 25-acre project at the GEMS landfill, a Superfund site that’s long been the focus of redevelopment efforts.

The solar field, to be completed by spring 2022, will produce more than 6 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, officials said in a statement announcing Wednesday’s ceremony.

That clean energy each year will offset more than 4,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of almost 11 million miles driven by a typical passenger vehicle, the statement said.

The complex at Hicktown and New Brooklyn-Erial roads is also expected to produce about $1 million in lease revenue for the township over a 25-year period.

Gloucester Township Mayor David Mayer said he was “thrilled to see” the 4.5-megawatt project coming to “what had been one of the worst-polluted Superfund sites in the country in the 1980s.”

“This project, and projects like it, are vital to us slowing climate change and the catastrophic events that come with rising temperatures,” said Camden County Commissioner Jeffrey Nash.

The 60-acre landfill, which rises about 100 feet above its surroundings, started as a municipal dump in the 1950s.

It was last operated by Gloucester Environmental Management Services Inc. (GEMS), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

State environmental regulators closed the landfill, which also holds industrial waste, in 1980. It was named a Superfund site three years later.

“The majority of the site’s cleanup activities were completed in 2004,” according to an EPA account.

The solar field will sit on top of the capped landfill, which is still undergoing long-term remediation. That ongoing process includes groundwater and gas extraction, as well as monitoring programs.

Gloucester Township is developing the solar field in partnership with Syncarpha Capital, a New York-based firm chosen as the landfill’s redeveloper in 2016.

The firm since that time has obtained needed permits, “as well as the process of interconnecting through Atlantic City Electric to the wholesale electric grid,” said Cliff Chapman, Syncarpha’s managing partner.

Ben Parvey, an executive at Blue Sky Power, the township’s energy consultant, noted the solar field “and many solar projects on municipal and school district property across town have cemented Gloucester Township’s place as one the most sustainable communities in the United States.

District Offices

Gloucester County

Kingsway Commons
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086
Phone: (856) 251-9801
Fax: (856) 251-9752

Salem/Cumberland Counties

The Finlaw Building
199 East Broadway, Suite G
Salem, NJ 08079
Phone: (856) 339-0808 or
             (856) 455-1011
Fax: (856) 339-9626