Recycling and reusing things has been a big trend lately, which is a very good thing. And it’s not just for things like paper and plastic. Land recycling is becoming a common thing, too! In fact, landfills are being used to generate clean, renewable solar energy. One of the largest solar projects in Tennessee was just installed on a landfill. Located just outside of Somerville, this new Tennessee solar farm can generate 2.7 MW of solar power.
This project, completed by C2 Energy Capital, was a part of the RE-Powering America’s Land initiative. Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this initiative is aimed towards renewable energy development, such as solar farms. But not just anywhere. It encourages renewable energy development specifically for formerly contaminated sites. Such sites include landfills, former mining sites, and previously contaminated lands. These abandoned sites go from being eyesores to wind and solar farms, generating clean, green energy for people to use.
The electricity this Tennessee solar farm generates will be sold to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). This will last for 20 years, under a Power Purchase Agreement. This Somerville, Tennessee solar farm is projected to generate enough electricity to power over 330 homes. and offset 46,000 trees-worth of carbon.
Landfills are perfect spots for renewable energy farms for multiple reasons. Most things can’t be built there, because the ground is contaminated. They’re also typically located near electrical transmission lines and roads, making utility-scale projects easier. They’re usually close to towns and cities, which have high energy demands. And since the land is flat, and cannot be used for anything else, solar farms are a natural choice. The Somerville, Tennessee solar farm is a great example of what can happen when people combine land reclamation with clean, green energy.
The Somerville, Tennessee solar farm was constructed by C2 Energy Capital. Candice Michalowicz, Co-founder and Managing Member of the company, stated “Solar facilities installed on landfills are some of the most difficult to construct. Our team’s effort and experience in completing this project turned previously unusable land to a clean, solar power system, a tax-paying property and created jobs. We are very proud to have participated in the effort.”
So far over 40 states have seen landfill solar projects completed, totalling approximately 1.5 GW of pure, clean electricity. And all that land that would have sat there useless is now being used to keep the environment clean and healthy. Hopefully all landfills will be repurposed for use like this. This Tennessee solar farm is just one step closer to helping people go green. Sunpro Solar is looking forward to seeing many more such solar farms in the future, in Tennessee, and elsewhere.