The project, completed this past December, improves its host New Jersey community by reclaiming two acres of landfill space, provides clean, carbon-free power to customers, and will deliver valuable insights into using batteries to better integrate renewable energy onto the power grid.
So it’s no wonder the project has been recognized by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association with a “New Good Neighbor” award in the community enhancement category. It’s among 13 New Jersey development projects honored by the group at a virtual awards ceremony streamed on YouTube Live July 28.
“This was a two-acre landfill that was really an eyesore in the community,” said Karen Reif, vice president of Renewables and Energy Solutions at PSE&G. “Not only is it a state of the art solar storage facility, it also is a green asset that is helping to minimize the amount of emissions.”
Highland Park is the second PSE&G solar project to be recognized this year for improving a community and advancing the state’s clean energy agenda. In June, the New Jersey Institute of Technology featured PSE&G’s Pennsauken solar project on its Brownfield Success Stories website. The 15.2-megawatt-dc solar farm was built on the unused and abandoned 32-acre site of a former porcelain-enameled cast-iron bath fixture manufacturer along the Delaware River in Pennsauken, New Jersey.
Highland Park and Pennsauken are among 13 PSE&G solar power projects on landfill or brownfield sites that together cover 262 acres and can produce 86 megawatts of power.
The Highland Park system went online in December 2019 and combines a 1,764-panel solar farm with 2,000-kilowatt-hour storage system. The solar panels provide enough electricity to power about 100 homes annually and charge the batteries.
It is located near a residential multifamily housing complex adjacent to a public park and walking trails in a wooded area along the Raritan River. PSE&G installed a decorative iron fence for security, and planted 91 trees and a mix of perennial plants and shrubs to improve the curb appeal of the project and the neighborhood.
In addition to improving the neighborhood, renewable energy systems like Highland Park help PSE&G enhance reliability of the power grid while helping to combat climate change by smoothing the integration of renewable energy onto the grid. It’s an important step in helping New Jersey fulfill its vision for a clean energy future by promoting the installation of even more solar energy projects.
And, it continues a history of support for a healthy and sustainable environment by the Borough of Highland Park, New Jersey’s first Green Community.
“It was so important to me to see this happen so that we can take a piece of land that was worthless to our community and turn it into a benefit, not only for the neighbors across the street from this field but for the entire state of New Jersey,” Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler said.