As the world moves from fossil fuel energy to clean energy and specifically solar power, locating usable land without impacting area for food production in some areas can be a challenge. One solution has been to move to floating solar plants while another is to use old landfill sites such as the recent announcement from SunEdison.
SunEdison, Inc. has signed an agreement to develop and install a 2.6 megawatt (MW) solar power plant for the town of Winchendon, Mass. on a previously unusable 12 acre town-owned landfill site.
The landfill site will be converted under Massachusetts’ Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC II) program, which provides preferred incentives for brown field projects.
“The State’s incentive program is a real driver for innovation when it comes to land use,” says Steve Raeder, Managing Director of Distributed Generation Eastern USA at SunEdison,
It creates the opportunity to give unusable land a new life by converting it into a site for solar energy – towns like Winchendon can convert what was once a potential liability into a revenue generating asset.
“This is a great opportunity for Winchendon to take an underutilized piece of land and turn it into a clean, reliable source of energy,” says Town Manager Jim Kreidler,
We’re excited to be working with SunEdison to make this project a reality, and with SunEdison’s fixed-price power purchase agreement we will save the town around $400,000 in the first year alone!
Winchendon will save up to $8 million in energy costs over the 20 year power purchase agreement and will also receive incremental lease revenue from SunEdison. The solar power plant is projected to save 1,805 tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 1,479 acres of trees, or taking 380 cars off the road.
SunEdison anticipates adding the solar power plant to the Call Right Projects List for TerraForm Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP), a global owner and operator of clean energy power plants, and expects to offer this project to TerraForm Power for investment upon completion. Operation and maintenance of the solar power plant will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.
Here is a video from SunEdison showing their solar tracking technology.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.