Freeholders have awarded a nearly 20-year lease to HESP Solar, one of the companies that had bid on the lease. The company will pay the county $37,500 a year for each megawatt of solar power that gets constructed at the solar farm. Payments will not start until the project is constructed, according to the county. “The project has the ability to be up to 10 megawatts, which would be $375,000 per year,” Teri O’Connor, county administrator, told freeholders at their work session meeting Oct. 24. “So this is something that we’ve very proud of because we think that that area of the former landfill…cannot be developed into housing or any other type of structure component,” said Thomas A. Arnone, freeholder director. By Philip Sean Curran The landfill, located at Lakewood Allenwood Road, is closed and otherwise could not be used except for a project like this. “So those processes take differing amounts of time,” Sean Brodie, HESP’s development manager, told the freeholders. “We hope that it can be done inside of a year, of the planning process, but that is ambitious.” HESP Solar is headquartered in Suffern, New York. The company’s portfolio includes projects in Barnegat, Lakewood and other parts of New Jersey and in communities along the East Coast. A New York-based energy company intends to produce electricity with solar panels at a closed landfill that Monmouth County owns in Howell Township. HESP Solar will need to get zoning and other approvals to construct the project, including getting permission from the township. “Well, I think it’s a good use, a conversion, of property that would really just lay fallow,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry.