5/10/2021 - Somerville Solar Farm Begins to Take Shape


The long dormant municipal landfill on Route 206 will soon be reborn as a state-of-the-art solar farm, according to Somerville Mayor Dennis Sullivan. The Somerville Borough Council recently took preliminary steps to begin the process, which is expected to take several years.

An ordinance to lease about 25 acres of borough-owned land to Hathaway Solar, LLC was introduced on May 3. This will allow Hathaway to begin discussions with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to obtain the necessary approvals and permits for the actual construction. Somerville is currently working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to finalize cleanup plans for the site while exploring grant opportunities for the area contaminated by decades of household waste.

The Council also adopted a resolution to enter into a redevelopment agreement with Hathaway for a long=term lease on the land. Details are being finalized, with the lease payments tied to the amount of electricity ultimately produced. Hathaway will make application to the state for acceptance into the “Community Solar” initiative, a program that would give qualified individuals the opportunity to buy electricity at reduced rates.

Mayor Sullivan added, “The ultimate fate of the landfill has challenged Somerville since the last garbage truck unloaded there over 30 years ago. A lot of work has gone on to get us to this point, and I especially want to thank the Redevelopment Committee, including Environmental Commission Liaison Tom Mitchell, for taking the lead. This innovative use protects the environment, creates revenue for the borough, and will give people an alternate energy source. A site that has produced nothing but frustration and methane will soon become another jewel in the crown of our wonderful town, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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