Thursday, March 28, 2013

The No-Brainer of the Century: Solar on Old Landfills

A new solar farm has gone up on the old town dump in Dartmouth in just five months:
The capped Russells Mills Road Landfill has a new lease on life after Borrego Solar Systems Inc. quietly topped the former dump with a solar farm, a venture that drew none of the complaints common to similar solar projects in town.

"It's the town of Dartmouth that showed leadership today," state Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia said Wednesday during a ribbon cutting for the facility.

State and local officials including U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, state Rep. Chris Markey, Select Board Chairwoman Lara Stone and others attended Wednesday's ceremony celebrating the 5,300-panel, 1.4 megawatt solar farm slated to meet 20 percent of the town's energy needs.
If you have an old landfill and you don't have a solar farm on top of it, you're throwing money away. Even in March as the sun shines for hours less and at much lower intensity than it will in summer, the solar farm is already producing more than a megawatt.

But the article also has a reminder that to really reap the benefits of renewable energy, towns should consider properly-sited wind power:
The solar farm can produce 1.4 megawatts of power, slightly less than one of the two 1.5 megawatt wind turbines in Fairhaven, which stand 396 feet tall on land owned by the town.
Learn more at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

No comments: