Ground broken on 16.5-MW solar project on Air Force base in New Jersey

A groundbreaking ceremony for a 16.5-MW solar project was held Dec. 20 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) in central New Jersey.

The solar project – developed by an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group of Greenwich, Connecticut, and an affiliate of Energy Management Inc. (EMI), of Boston, Massachusetts – is owned by an affiliate of True Green Capital Management LLC of Westport, Connecticut. The project is located on a capped landfill, and is the largest military solar installation in the Northeast. The project was developed under an effort by the military to achieve real asset optimization and long-term energy security.

“This project demonstrates the innovative pathways our Airmen and civilians are taking to strengthen mission assurance through energy assurance. The revenue generated by this solar project, built on a closed landfill, will provide critical funds dedicated to JB MDL’s energy assurance plan. I applaud the installation’s leaders and support staff for their creativity and persistence to bring this project to fruition,” said Miranda A.A. Ballentine, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Installations, Environment and Energy, who cut the ribbon at the ceremony.

“We are pleased to contribute to the renewable energy objectives of the United States Military, and appreciate all of the support for this project from the Pentagon, Air Force Civil Engineer Center and the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst,” said Brad Nordholm, Senior Manager Director and Co-Head of Starwood Energy.

Jim Gordon, President of EMI, added: “New Jersey’s leadership in solar energy policies is creating a healthier environment, greater energy independence and more stable energy costs for the region.”

“We are thrilled to add another 16.5 MWs of clean, renewable energy to our existing 12.3 MW military housing installation currently operating at JB MDL, and we are grateful for the incredible cooperation and support from our military, development and construction partners,” said Bo Wiegand, Partner at True Green Capital Management.

True Green Capital and its affiliates will build, own and operate the project, in partnership with The Conti Group of Edison, New Jersey.

The project is part of the Air Force’s Enhanced Use Lease program, which seeks private developers to create mutually beneficial commercial projects on Air Force real estate. The project is located on 98 acres on Fort Dix that True Green Capital controls under a 40-year ground lease. Comprised of approximately 50,844 solar panels, the project will produce 21,315 megawatt-hours of renewable energy every year.

Starwood Energy Group is a private investment firm that specializes in energy infrastructure investments. Through its general opportunity funds Starwood Energy Infrastructure Fund I and II, and other affiliated investment vehicles, Starwood Energy Group manages total equity commitments in excess of $2 billion and has executed transactions totaling more than $5 billion in enterprise value.

Since 1975, Energy Management Inc. has been developing innovative and award winning energy projects in the United States. The company focuses on developing renewable energy projects utilizing biomass, wind and solar energy technologies for a wide range of industrial, institutional and utility clients.

True Green Capital is a private equity firm specializing in energy infrastructure investments. Through its limited partnerships, True Green Capital manages over $400 million in long-term equity capital. True Green Capital targets asset-based investment opportunities with a focus on distributed power generation, including distributed solar.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.