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Work to Begin on 100-Acre Solar Farm in Tinton Falls

The project sits along Shafto Road and is touted by the borough as being one of the largest solar farms in the Northeast.

Touted as one of the largest solar fams in the Northeast, work on the 100-acre clean energy project in Tinton Falls along Shafto Road will begin in earnest on Friday with a ground breaking ceremony.

The $80 million privately-funded project can be accessed at Tormee Drive, and will boast 85,000 ground mounted panels that will generate 19.88 mega watts, according to a release from the borough.

“This large-scale solar farm will provide needed jobs and be a boost to the local economy that has been devastated by the closure of Fort Monmouth, while helping this country meet its energy demands for the 21st century,” said Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera.

The entire project is estimated to take approximately eight months, with the anticipated completion date of May 2012. 

Tinton Falls Solar Farm, LLC, a subsidiary of Zongyi Solar America Co. Ltd., purchased the property from Clean Jersey Solar for $5.55 million, or $57,000 per acre, according to the CoStar Group Web site.

The borough's zoning board approved the application in November 2010, with the site subdivided into the solar farm and a non-age restricted townhome development. One of the original proposals for the site was to develop 243 single family units and 61 affordable units with over 1,100 bedrooms. The scaled-down application had 248 two-bedroom units.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at 99 Tormee Drive and feature Sen. Jennifer Beck, Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, Skudera and other borough and local officials. Friday's groundbreaking will also feature representatives from Tinton Falls Solar Farm, LLC, including its CEO, Eddie Zeng.

“This project combines with capital investment, advanced technology and equipment, an experienced engineering and construction team, and strong support from the local community. I am confident that it will not only create many local jobs and stimulate the economy; it will also set the standard for future ventures in the field of solar energy in New Jersey," said Zeng.

The energy generated from this site could power the equivalent of nearly 3,000 homes, which are about two-thirds of the total households in Tinton Falls.  It is estimated that this solar farm will offsets carbon emissions equivalent to nearly 4,000 acres of trees, according to the release.

Pat Ellson October 27, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Yayyy! Good for them! It's about time.
Joseph Abbruscato October 27, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Thats it! Lets just keep knocking down trees and stop growing crops so we can replace them with Solar Panel Farms!!! Welcome to the Green Hell!!
charles lomangino October 28, 2011 at 01:46 PM
nice choice for a piece that was going to be all houses and condo's so,so much rather that be 100 acre's of solar panels than houses,thanks to the owners for making the right choice. Charlie Lomangino
Pat Ellson October 29, 2011 at 01:15 PM
Now that we have this plan settled with, I have noticed, a great deal of support, when do we get the announcement that a large area of "Fort" land will be designated park land for the wildlife that is running out of room to live? I still see fences around wooded areas. Does it take years of bureaucratic wrangling to cut them down?
Paul October 29, 2011 at 01:34 PM
It would have been nice if this project was constructed on unusable landfill property. That was a lot of woods cleared out. A lot of wildlife must have been displaced.
Pat Ellson October 29, 2011 at 01:44 PM
Paul - it was not a wooded lot. It was a 'garbage dump" and basically scheduled for a housing complex...
bud October 31, 2011 at 04:05 PM
With natural gas at $3, this project does not sound financially feasible?
Concerned Resident November 26, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Without tax incentives and SRECs this project is NOT financially feasible. What a waste of good space.
Concerned Resident November 26, 2011 at 09:48 PM
This WAS a mostly wooded area look at the satellite image http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Tormee+Drive,+Tinton+Falls,+NJ&hl=en&ll=40.261418,-74.083643&spn=0.01179,0.019248&sll=40.175988,-74.726901&sspn=0.011804,0.019248&vpsrc=6&hnear=Tormee+Dr,+Tinton+Falls,+Monmouth,+New+Jersey+07712&t=h&z=16
Ron Santos August 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM
thats not true at all.... even without incentives or srecs eventually paying half the costs of electricity vs what we/they pay is a no brainer... building houses no one can afford to live in is more stupid ..... think cheaper energy (which we all need) or more empty townhouses ... ur choice ....

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