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Board of Public Utilities Adopts Certification Process for Solar Projects on Brownfields, Landfills and Areas of Historic Fill

April 16, 2013

In furtherance of the Solar Act of 2012, via order dated January 24, 2013 (the “Order”), the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (the “BPU”) adopted staff recommendations setting forth a certification process for certifying solar generation projects on brownfields, landfills and areas of historic fill as “connected to the distribution system” such that they are eligible to generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (“SRECs”). On April 10, 2013, the New Jersey Clean Energy Program released the formal application to be submitted in connection with the certification process.

The Order requires that all solar projects on brownfields, landfills or areas of historic fill (collectively “Applicable Solar Projects”) obtain New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) final certification as a pre-requisite to consideration to be eligible for SREC generation. NJDEP certification will be final if remediation of the site has been completed and will be conditional if additional remediation is required. It appears that the solar development may be included as part of the remediation.

Following receipt of an application for Applicable Solar Projects, the NJDEP will determine the type of property and advise the BPU on the status of remediation at the proposed site. The NJDEP will also recommend whether the BPU should issue a conditional or full certification. Conditional certifications may specify the additional remedial actions required in order to obtain full certification. In reviewing applications for proposed projects on brownfields or areas of historic fill, the NJDEP will consider whether any required remediation will be hindered or neglected by the solar project. With respect to landfills, the NJDEP will require that the landfill be properly closed and will consider whether the proposed solar project will compromise the closure of the landfill or affect the containment of any leachate associated with the landfill.

For more information, please contact:

Stephen A. Kisker
Chair, Renewable Energy and Sustainability Group | (973) 530-2074 | skisker@wolffsamson.com  
Robert H. Crespi
Member of the Firm | (973) 530-2060 | rcrespi@wolffsamson.com  
Michelle A. Schaap
Member of the Firm | (973) 530-2026 | mschaap@wolffsamson.com  
John G. Valeri Jr.
Member of the Firm | (973) 530-2030 | jvaleri@wolffsamson.com