The legal issues that accompany construction and real estate transactions require vigorous advocacy, from protecting clients from unnecessary liability to guiding decisions that minimize risk and that offer an upside. These case studies illustrate that fighting can be avoided with the right counsel and, if it becomes necessary, having a top attorney in your corner is always a good strategy for the complicated issues that are common for these key industries.
McCarter & English, LLP
By Jeffrey A. Petit, Esq., Practice Leader, Real Estate Group
The benefits to locating a solar project on a closed landfill are many and great. The state’s Energy Master Plan specifically encourages the use of closed landfills for energy generation. It is a commercially and environmentally smart reuse of land that is otherwise unusable. The remote location of landfills avoids issues with neighbors. There is usually nothing to obstruct the sun, and it’s far preferable to clearing woodlands or using otherwise fertile farmland. That’s why our client PSE&G has incorporated such projects as a major part of its Solar 4 All™ Program. With opportunity, however, come issues: addressing the presence of hazardous materials, avoiding damaging the landfill cap, ensuring the structure remains effective if the landfill shifts or settles, and sometimes, relocating a gas-collection system. PSE&G recently consummated a lease of the closed Kinsley landfill in Deptford, with the assistance of our commercial leasing expert Thomas DaCosta Lobo and our environmental expert Keith Lynott. The project, which was named the “Renewable Energy Project of the Year” by the New Jersey Association of Energy Engineers, comprises 36,841 solar panels on 35 acres and generates enough electricity to power 2,000 average-sized homes.