Outside of Buffalo, NY, a 7 MW solar array is slated to be built on an abandoned landfill.
The brownfield development contract was closed by New Energy Equity, and community solar developer National Energy Development (NED) was selected to engineer and construct the project.
Dubbed the Broadway solar project, the landfill-topping array will sell power to local community solar subscribers, including homeowners, schools, local businesses, and municipalities.
The project will be installed on a ballasted fixed-tilt mounting system, which offers stability to the array without making deep punctures into the sensitive landfill grounds.
Landfills continue to play host to solar arrays around the nation, turning otherwise useless land into productive clean energy centers. The Environmental Protection Agency reports an 80% rise in such projects over the last five years. Often, these projects are built as community solar projects.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, utility DTE Energy will build a 20 MW facility as part of its MIGreenPower program, one of many it plans to bring online by 2025. The utility is currently issuing a request for proposal for the engineering, procurement, and construction firm on the project.
Farther west, in Utah, a 4.7 MW community solar project entered service earlier this year just south of Provo. The array was mounted on Solar FlexRack’s cast-in-place ballast mounting system, protecting the sensitive surface of the landfill while maintaining stability and resilience.
These projects, along with others in uncommon spaces, help fight energy sprawl, or the development of land for energy infrastructure. A study by Clemson University estimated that utility-scale solar, including spacing requirements, could require a land area the size of Texas by 2040 to meet the nation’s energy needs.
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