Retired garbage dumps in Massachusetts have recently gotten solar power makeovers. Construction of four solar farms totaling 15.6-megawatts are complete and operational on the unused properties that were once landfills. Solar development on sites owned by Waste Management will invigorate local economies, lower the cost of energy and provide enough solar energy to power approximately 3,000 Commonwealth homes every year.
"Solar farms require a lot of area, and closed landfills make excellent sites for them. Waste Management has developed similar projects at other closed facilities across the country. We are pleased to add MT Sullivan, which is now one of four closed landfill sites in Massachusetts that are generating renewable, solar energy,” said Chris DeSantis, area vice president, Waste Management.
Three of the new projects are owned and operated by renewable energy developer Captona Partners. The company developed the former landfill in Berkeley, MA, into a 3.6-megawatt solar farm consisting of over 11,200 solar panels on 18-acres of land. The MT Sullivan project is home to a 2.5-megawatt array containing almost 8,000 photovoltaic panels on 6-acres near Chicopee, MA. Additionally, the Hudson/Stow landfill, located in Hudson, MA, has been transformed into a 5-megawatt solar farm with the capacity to power nearly 1,000 homes throughout the region.
"We are excited to create additional, long-term value for the closed landfill by supplying clean energy to the area's residents and businesses," said Roshni Mali, director of Captona Partners and project manager for the Hudson/Stow, Berkley, and Chicopee solar projects.
The 4.5-megawatt Hunt Road solar farm in Amesbury, MA, was developed by Citizens Energy in cooperation with installer Conti Solar. The $10 million project is part of Mayor Ken Gray’s (R) 20-year pilot program established in 2015 to provide tax-based incentives to solar developers and landowners to promote renewable energy development in the city and region. The program allows Citizens Energy to defer tax payments it owes the city, while providing future financial stability for land leased by Waste Management to the project.
Retired landfills are key, expansive locations close to existing grid infrastructure to install utility-scale solar farms. Waste Management’s cooperative efforts to re-develop former landfills is in conjunction with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Re-Powering America's Land initiative established in 2008. Through the initiative, 180 large-scale solar farms totaling over 1,100 megawatts have been installed on decommissioned landfills and mine sites across the US.Tweet