EDF Renewables North America and the Renewable Power business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management achieved commercial operation of the Toms River Solar Project, delivering 28.9 MW of clean renewable energy. The solar project is the largest to be built on a Superfund site in New Jersey.
Credit: EDF Renewables
The solar array uses a pre-cast ballasted system on approximately 120 acres of the BASF-owned site located on Oak Ridge Parkway in Toms River and includes a 27.4 MW grid-connected system and an adjacent 1.5 MW net-metered solar system.
Additionally, EDFR has designed a 5-MW community solar project, also to be built on the BASF site, with more than half of its output committed to low- and moderate-income subscribers. The community solar project is still in the approval process.
“We are very excited about the Toms River Solar Project, which successfully reuses brownfield land to develop clean, renewable energy,” said Mark Patterson, VP of environment, health and safety at BASF. “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 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 100 union workers from Laborers Union Local 172, Iron Workers Local 399, Operators Local 825 and Electrical Local 400 participated in the project’s construction.
“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,” said Tom Leyden, senior director, EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions.
EDFR co-developed the project with PVOne and served as the EPC contractor. Goldman Sachs acquired the project from EDFR during the construction phase and plans to manage the asset through its useful life.
“This project is a great example of collaboration between private and public sectors, including the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with BASF, Goldman Sachs, and EDFR,” said Elliott Shanley, Senior Vice President of PVOne.