Capped Landfills Get Solar Treatment

Trash site in Mass. will be largest solar installation in New England

1 min read
Capped Landfills Get Solar Treatment

Landfills are all the rage these days. Capturing methane emissions from large trash sites has long been considered a solid energy-saving idea, but now a new trend sees capped landfills contributing to renewable goals in yet another way: solar power.

One site in Canton, Massachusetts, along with Southern Sky Renewable Energy, will install 5.6 megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels over the top of a capped landfill. They say it will generate as much as $70 million in combined savings and revenue over the next 25 years. When complete, it will be the largest solar installation in New England.

Jeffrey Osuch, executive secretary of another town in New Jersey following a similar plan, told the AP why this is an appealing idea: 

"Capped landfills have turned out to be a prime location for solar panels since they tend to be raised, can't be built on and have to be clear of trees to protect the integrity of the lining."

More generally, there is a glut of ideas floating around based on how better to use waste, landfills, and the like. Last year we covered here how Spain could get a full seven percent of its power from waste materials, and that British Airways will soon start to make use of a waste-to-fuel plant. And if none of those work, you can always turn your Staten Island landfill into a giant park.

(Image via Southern Sky Renewable Energy)

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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