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Identifying Closed Landfills for Solar Energy Projects

2013 February 21

Thousands of closed landfills nationwide may be great sites for solar energy projects. There are at least 15 solar projects installed on capped landfills in the US, with many more planned for the future, marking a growing trend for renewable energy land use.

EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory partnered to release “Best Practices to Siting Solar PV on MSW Landfills” to provide landfill owners/operators and solar energy developers with insight into the emerging best practices in this growing field. To learn more, EPA offers more information through the RE-Powering America’s Land initiative website.

To see if the landfill in your area has been pre-screened for renewable energy potential, please take a look at the “Landfill” layers for each renewable technology in the RE-Powering Renewable Energy Interactive Mapping Tool.

Are there solar on landfill projects installed or underway in your area? What additional ways can the EPA support communities interested in installing solar at MSW landfills?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Mark Dennen permalink
    February 21, 2013

    We are in the process of installing 1 in RI. Several others are under consideration at closed landfills. I don’t know that there is a whole lot EPA can do in this area.

  2. Nina Hapner permalink
    February 22, 2013

    Check out what Tohono O’odham is doing in Region 9. They have an area with mine tailings that they are going to use for a solar field (if I remember correctly).

  3. John Schweizer permalink
    March 5, 2013

    The AMCO Chemical Superfund site in Oakland, CA, where I work as the community technical adviser (TA) has very good potential for future development of solar power. Solar power is already being used to power the EPA field office and Community Center, and to recharge electric vehicles that are used for remediation operations.

  4. John Schweizer permalink
    March 5, 2013

    By the way, I am working at the AMCO Site this afternoon. My previous comment was sent using solar power at the Site, as is this one.

  5. Katie Brown -- AAAS Science & Tech Fellow hosted by U.S. EPA'S RE-Powering permalink
    March 5, 2013

    Thank you for pointing us to projects in the works in Rhode Island, California, and by the Tohono O’odham Nation. The RE-Powering team tracks completed projects through public announcements, press releases, and leads like yours.

    Please keep us posted about these projects so that we can add them to the growing list of renewable energy projects installed on potentially/formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites. We’ll be sure to learn more about the Greener Remediation efforts underway at the AMCO Chemical Superfund site.(

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