Solar Energy Project Planned at Seabrook in Tinton Falls


coaster-news-200By PETE WALTON

A new solar energy project, which has been approved by Tinton Falls officials, will provide electricity to Seabrook Village.

The Tinton Falls Board of Adjustment approved a proposal by KDC Solar of Bedminster for 3 megawatts of ground-mounted solar infrastructure on 10 acres adjacent to the village, a 98-acre retirement community on Essex Road and owned by Erickson Living.

Seabrook Village’s buildings and the area where the solar project is to be located are completely surrounded by wooded, vacant land.

“The project has been designed to minimize adverse impacts on environmental elements such as soil erosion, water resources, wildlife and wetlands,” said KDC Solar in its application to the zoning board. “Landscaping will be provided to enable the project to fit in the existing landscape. Buffers have been located so as to minimize the impact of noise, light and the movement of people and vehicles and to shield activities from the adjacent properties.”

One Seabrook resident attended the board’s public hearing on the plan and asked about its probable impact on electric bills. The issues of cost and financial benefit are not under the jurisdiction of the zoning board but Erickson does not expect the solar project to meet all of Seabrook Village’s power needs.

The full costs of its projects are paid for by KDC Solar. The host sites such as Seabrook Village receive economic benefits through a discount in electrical costs.

Since the zoning board’s resolution of approval has not yet been formalized, a time frame for construction has not been determined.

Through several subcontractors, KDC Solar has built projects which are generating more than 50 megawatts of power, with another 120 megawatts now under development in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Last fall, KDC Solar completed a 6.3 megawatt solar project at Centrastate Medical Center in Freehold. Nearby KDC Solar installations include a 3.5-megawatt facility for Williams Sonoma in Jamesburg, a 3.3-megawatt plant at United Stationers in Cranbury, a 4.9-megawatt project at White Rose Foods in Carteret, and a 6.4-megawatt complex serving seven Middlesex County government buildings in North Brunswick.

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