After installation of a cap surface began in May, the progress on the French’s Landfill site is currently on track, according to Township Administrator Scott Pezarras.
The current process entails the rolling out of a woven fabric-like layer that unravels like a carpet over the entire site. After the fabric, which is made of a “geotextile” substance, covers the entire landfill site, a layer of clay will be poured on top, and it will be capped with an additional cover layer.
A geomat is then placed over that layer, which is also covered by two feet of soil and landscaping items, such as grass. Through this process, rain water which falls at the site will not interact or interfere with other substances that were buried there over the years.
“The landfill capping is on schedule,” said Pezarras. “We’re due to get a substantially complete approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in mid to late September.”
Pezarras said it was hoped that the installation of the solar panels could then proceed in mid to late October, after the approval of a PJM Application. Such an application is completed to make sure that an area generating electrical power is supported by adequate technological infrastructure.
“There are feasibility studies that go hand-in-hand with that application, and I feel confident they’ll have the ability to generate 6.8 megawatts on that grid,” said Pezarras, citing a conclusion made by Brick Township’s consultant on solar energy, Tom Brys of Birdsall Services Group.
Pezarras said that once the EPA decided to cap the landfill, proceeding forward with a solar array was the best and most efficient use of the property for the future. It also produced the most revenue of possible ongoing uses on the land which were considered, according to the administrator.
“We looked into it, and saw that the land could be designed to accommodate solar panels. The top of the cap is crowned, and panels could be laid on the flat portion. There is also a berm on the edge, which will make the panels less visible to nearby residents living in the area of the landfill,” said Pezarras.
The township is looking towards more activity at the Herbertsville site proceeding in the fall.
“I think it’s a very good project, it’s certainly something that I’m looking forward to,” Pezarras explained.