The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced the location of over 66,000 contaminated land sites it plan to use for the generation of solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy.
The total includes landfills and mine sites across the US to be provided for preliminary screening, up from 24,000 previously.
The agency’s RE-Powering Initiative worked in conjunction with state agencies from eight states, developed screening criteria for the renewable technologies at various development levels with help from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
‘We see responsible renewable energy development on contaminated lands and landfills as a win-win-win for the nation, local communities, and the environment,’ said assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Mathy Stanislaus. “In President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the administration set a goal to double renewable electricity generation by 2020.
‘By identifying the renewable energy potential of contaminated sites across the country, these screening results are a good step toward meeting national renewable energy goals in order to address climate change, while also cleaning up and revitalizing contaminated lands in our communities.”
The EPA identified, for solar alone, over 10,000 contaminated sites adjudged to have the potential to install 300MW or greater arrays, which could, say the agency, host solar energy systems with 30 times the capacity of all renewable energy systems operating in the country presently.
More than 70 renewable energy projects have been installed on contaminated land or landfills since the initiative’s inception, representing in excess of 200MW of installed capacity.
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