BERKELEY – The township is going to be leasing the landfill property to a company that will be paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, officials said.
Mayor Carmen Amato said that this new deal with Hathaway Solar could bring in between $400,000-$500,000 annually for the township. The state has approved a 10 megawatt field for the land.
The landfill hasn’t been used for decades, he said. It’s off Pinewald-Keswick Road, behind other municipal property.
However, it has to be properly capped in order for a solar array to be built over it. Capping a landfill is expensive work, and requires State Department of Environmental Protection oversight. Part of the deal with the solar company involves Hathaway doing the work to cap the landfill.
One of the elements that made this deal attractive was that Hathaway would offer an opt-in program, Amato said. Therefore, residents would choose whether they would want to get their electricity from the solar field or from traditional power sources.
It is unknown, at this time, what the difference in cost would be between getting electricity from Hathaway and getting it from JCP&L.
Some deals automatically enroll everyone in town, and they would have to opt out of it. Residents in these deals did not like to have to take an extra step for the freedom of choosing where their energy comes from.
Generally speaking with situations like this, residents would be getting their electricity from Hathaway. However, the electricity would travel on power lines maintained by Jersey Central Power and Light. These deals usually wind up with the resident paying one check to JCP&L and then the power companies split your money without you needing to send separate checks.
In other news, the Township Council approved the Bayville Fire Company to sell an old 1999 Pierce pumper. It will likely be sold off for parts, Amato said. It is being replaced by a new truck for the company.
The township recently received a $26,000 Homeland Security Grant that will go toward cameras in police vehicles that automatically read license plates.