CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ (CBS) — Chances are, when someone says landfill, renewable energy is not the first thing you think of. But for more than a decade the Pennsauken Landfill has been home to more than 11,000 solar panels.
“We feel very strongly about trying to create renewable energy wherever we can,” said David Luthman Executive Director of Pollution Control Finance Authority of Camden County.
Now officials are adding even more solar panels to the landfill.
“We’re going to about double our existing solar capacity, and it’s a terrific project using this closed portion of the landfill for a beneficial re-use, Luthman said.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the solar energy produced by these panels will reduce green house gas by more than 2-1/2 tons.
To put that in perspective that’s like not burning 2.7 million pounds of coal, or preserving more than 2,300 acres of forests.
Steven Gabrielle is with Energy Power Partners the company constructing the solar panels in the landfill, and says the energy generated from theses panels will being used to power local businesses.
“This new project is 2,700 kilowatts which is about 300 homes of energy,” Gabrielle said.
Camden County officials also say that this new initiative will help in their efforts to meet renewable energy goals while also lower their carbon footprint.
“The new project will go to the local grid through PSE&G, and supply the local community with electricity,” Gabrielle said.
Construction on these new solar panels is slated to begin in the next few months, and is expected to done by the end of the year.