EDF Renewables North America (EDFR) and Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s renewable power business have announced the commercial operation of the Toms River Solar Project.
Delivering 28.9MW of clean renewable energy, the project has been built on BASF Corporation’s property by EDFR in coordination with PVOne and Goldman Sachs.
It is New Jersey’s largest solar project and the biggest solar project built on a Superfund site in the US, EDFR said.
The solar array uses a pre-cast ballasted system on approximately 120 acres of the BASF site located on Oak Ridge Parkway in Toms River, New Jersey, and includes a 27.4MW grid-connected system and an adjacent 1.5MW net-metered solar system.
Additionally, EDFR has designed a 5MW Community Solar project, also to be built on the BASF site, which will provide lower-cost electricity to area residents, with more than half of its output committed to low- and moderate-income subscribers.
The Community Solar project is still in the approval process.
The overall project will generate enough clean energy to meet the needs of 5,250 New Jersey homes.
This is equivalent to avoiding more than 30,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, which equates to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with driving 6,400 cars for one year.
BASF vice president for environment, health and safety Mark Patterson said: “We are very excited about the Toms River Solar Project, which successfully reuses brownfield land to develop clean, renewable energy.
“This sustainable project highlights BASF’s connections to our communities and the environment by supporting an overall reduction of CO2 emissions while also expanding the site’s native grassland habitat for pollinators and migratory birds.”
The solar array was built with rigorous attention to the environment, with specific considerations made to improve the threatened Grasshopper Sparrow habitat and protect the Northern Pine Snake.
Existing paved areas in the footprint of the project were removed and will be replaced with native meadow mix grasses and wildflowers.
Additionally, Rutgers University will conduct a 5-year monitoring program to study the ecological uplift of the project.
Nearly one hundred union workers from Laborers Union Local 172, Iron Workers Local 399, Operators Local 825, and Electrical Local 400 participated in the project’s construction.
EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions senior director Tom Leyden said: “We were pleased to work with a full set of project partners including local subcontractors, local and state officials, community groups, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and professionals at Weston Solutions and Giordano, Halloran, and Ciesla.”
EDFR co-developed the project with PVOne and served as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor for the project.
Goldman Sachs acquired the project from EDFR during the construction phase and plans to manage the asset through its useful life.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management vice president renewable power business Michael Conti said: “Goldman Sachs is deeply committed to accelerating the energy transition.
“As one of the largest owners of solar power in New Jersey, we are grateful that the State continues to support the development of clean energy, particularly on brownfields, such as this project located on the Toms River Superfund site.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the EDFR team to make this project, the largest operating solar project in New Jersey, a success.
“We look forward to future collaboration between our organizations as well as a great future relationship with BASF.”