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Office of Policy and Economic Analysis

Solar In New Jersey – The Solar Act Sub Section t

NJ has become one of the top states in total installed solar capacity. New Jersey currently ranks fifth in the nation in total installed solar capacity totaling over 2 GW. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal reduce reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

On July 23, 2012, L. 2012, c. 24 (Solar Act) was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. The Solar Act amends certain aspects of the statute that governs the generation, interconnection, and financing of renewable energy.  The Solar Act requires the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board or BPU) to conduct proceedings to establish new standards and to develop new programs to implement the acts overall goals to stabilize the solar market and continue growth in the solar industry.

To encourage solar on underutilized lands, Subsection t. of the Solar Act (N.J.S.A. 48:3-87 (t)) is a program established by BPU to provide Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to owners of solar electric power generation facilities certified as being located on a brownfield, area of historic fill, or properly closed sanitary landfill facility. Subsection t. applications are submitted to the BPU and, in consultation with the NJDEP, the Department provides a recommendation to BPU with respect to whether or not the proposed facility is located on a brownfield, area of historic fill, or properly closed sanitary landfill facility.

The definitions are as follows:

  • Brownfield - any former or current commercial or industrial site that is currently vacant or underutilized and on which there has been, or there is suspected to have been, a discharge of a contaminant.

  • Area of Historic fill - generally large volumes of non-indigenous material, no matter what date they were emplaced on the site, used to raise the topographic elevation of a site, which were contaminated prior to emplacement and are in no way connected with the operations at the location of emplacement and which include, but are not limited to, construction debris, dredge spoils, incinerator residue, demolition debris, fly ash, and non-hazardous solid waste.

  • Properly closed sanitary landfill facility - a sanitary landfill facility, or a portion of a sanitary landfill facility, for which performance is complete with respect to all activities associated with the design, installation, purchase, or construction of all measures, structures, or equipment required by the Department of Environmental Protection, pursuant to law, in order to prevent, minimize, or monitor pollution or health hazards resulting from a sanitary landfill facility subsequent to the termination of operations at any portion thereof, including, but not necessarily limited to, the placement of earthen or vegetative cover, and the installation of methane gas vents or monitors and leachate monitoring wells or collection systems at the site of any sanitary landfill facility.


The Brick Landfill

Before After
Photo-Brink Landfill Before Photo-Brink Landfill After
Brick Landfill Before and After, 6.1 MW (GIS 2012 and Google Maps 2015)

Diagram-Solar on a landfill

Solar on a Landfill Diagram

For further Subsection t information and application materials please visit:   

To learn more about SREC’s visit:  

Other Important Links:

Guidance Documents

  • SOLAR SITING ANALYSIS: In 2012 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) former Office of Sustainability and Green Energy (SAGE) released a Solar Siting Analysis which is available for download here.  This analysis differentiates between sites where the Department would encourage solar installations from those where the Department would discourage solar installations.
  • SOLAR ON LANDFILLS GUIDANCE DOCUMENT:  The NJDEP Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Program has released a document entitled, “Guidance for Installation of Solar Renewable Energy Systems on Landfills in New Jersey” which is available for download here.  This document will help guide developers through the process of obtaining the necessary NJDEP permits for installing a solar array on a properly closed landfill in New Jersey.

  • SOLAR ON LANDFILLS WORK WITH EPA REGION 2:  SAGE staff worked with EPA Region 2 and National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) staff to assess 10 properly closed municipal landfills in New Jersey for their solar potential.  Read more about the project here:



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