Largest landfill solar project in Maryland completed by EDF Renewables, Solar FlexRack

solar flexrack landfill maryland

Led by national engineering, procurement and construction firm EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions, this 18.1 MW dc facility, known as the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park, is located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and is the largest solar project on a closed landfill in the state. The project is owned by a subsidiary of Building Energy, was developed by BQ Energy, a company specializing in landfill and brownfield renewable energy projects, and used Solar FlexRack racking to complete the job.

The Annapolis Renewable Energy Park is remarkable for its size and complexity. The enormous facility spans 80 acres and was completed in mid-2018. The solar energy park will generate enough clean energy to power more than 12 percent of the city’s homes annually. In addition to gaining the reassurance of fixed, lower-cost clean energy for its clients and partners, the city is estimated to receive more than $250,000 annually by leasing the property to Building Energy.

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Building a renewable energy project on top of a capped landfill is an intricate project, and the expertise of racking provider Solar FlexRack proved invaluable for EDF Renewables. Unable to drill piles into the landfill’s protective membrane cap, Solar FlexRack utilized B3P-X pre-cast fixed tilt racking foundations for the more than 54,000 solar panels.

“Solar FlexRack’s expertise in this important niche market makes the company a perfect partner for landfill projects,” said Jamie Resor, CEO, EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions. “We are pleased to work with a firm that can provide the precise, high-quality product required to execute our vision for the Annapolis Renewable Energy Park.”

“EDF Renewables’ deep experience and technical capabilities make them an extraordinary leader in the field,” continued Steve Daniel, Executive Vice President of Solar FlexRack. “It was a pleasure to collaborate with them on the park, and we look forward to the next partnership opportunity.”

Solar FlexRack offers ballasted solar racking solutions for sites challenged with penetration, weight and other regulatory restrictions. The selection and quality of their products provide a wider choice for solar project engineers to design optimal performance into their solar systems.

— Solar Builder magazine

New York creates toolkit to guide solar development of brownfields, landfills

New York solar school

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority released a new tool kit to provide guidance and resources for communities seeking to develop solar projects on underutilized properties such as landfills and brownfields. This new Municipal Solar Procurement Toolkit supports recent revisions to the NY-Sun Megawatt Block Program which provides financial incentives for developing solar projects in those areas.

“Responsible development of solar projects on brownfields and landfills enables municipalities to transform this dead space into a renewable energy resource that helps lower consumer energy bills and provide emission free energy,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

RELATED: New York issues RFP for 1.4-MW solar project at Javits Convention Center

The New York Solar Guidebook is a comprehensive resource created by NYSERDA to help municipalities and officials engage in informed decision making about the potential benefits, effects and impact on the community’s character that renewable energy projects may bring. It contains tools, step-by-step instructions and information about solar project permitting, inspection, property taxes, land leases and more.

Municipalities can use the new Municipal Solar Procurement Toolkit as a guide to develop solar projects on these underutilized lands instead of other productive land. It includes an overview guide on municipal procurement as well as ready-to-use templates for a land lease agreement and a request for proposal. Aditionally, NYSERDA offers free technical assistance to help municipalities implement the policies and practices for becoming solar-ready communities.

This toolkit is part of statewide effort to support renewable energy project growth and compliments a rulemaking package adopted by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in June to streamline the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process to encourage sustainable development. The updates will take effect on January 1, 2019, and will expand the number of actions not subject to further review under SEQR, known as Type II actions, modify thresholds for actions deemed more likely to require the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS), and require scoping of an EIS.

Examples of Type II actions to be added include installation of solar arrays on closed landfills, cleaned-up brownfield sites, wastewater treatment facilities, sites zoned for industrial use, or solar canopies on residential and commercial parking facilities and the installation of solar arrays on an existing structure not listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places; among others.

The NY-Sun initiative supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s mandate for 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable resources by 2030 to combat climate change.

The NY-Sun Megawatt Block program has already supported 652 megawatts of completed projects and another 979 megawatts are currently under development. In June, NYSERDA announced improvements to the Megawatt Block incentive program including higher incentives for projects on landfills and brownfields as part of NYSERDA’s soft, indirect cost reduction effort. New York has more than 1,300 MW of installed and operating solar capacity, or enough to power approximately 229,000 homes, and is rapidly adding more every day.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar Builder 2017-10-02 14:00:28

Soltage

Republic Services and renewable energy company Soltage sent word of a 13.5 MW project constructed on three former landfill sites, or brownfields, in Massachusetts. Based on preliminary estimates, this project is expected to produce enough electricity to power 1,900 local households. When complete, the project will be comprised of 41,000 solar panels that will provide electricity for Massachusetts municipalities.

Landfills can often provide opportunities to harness energy from yesterday’s waste and convert it into renewable energy for tomorrow’s power needs. This project in Massachusetts represent Republic’s commitment to the expanded application of solar energy technologies on former landfills, and complements existing solar energy projects in Texas, Georgia and Nevada.

“Solar is an excellent development opportunity for former landfills, providing additional revenue streams to the landowner, affordable power for the local communities and strong environmental benefits for the state,” said Jesse Grossman, CEO of Soltage. “Republic has shown their commitment to environmental leadership as well as their commitment to supporting the local community. By installing solar infrastructure on landfills, together we’re able to provide low-cost power for local Massachusetts communities and support the local economy.”

Mounting Challenges: Landfills, Brownfields, Water-Saturated Sites

Basalt Infrastructure Partners, an independent infrastructure investment firm, acted as the primary investor on the project. This is the first solar project between Republic and Soltage, and the first project completed as part of the Basalt-Soltage $140 million equity capital partnership to fund over 100 megawatts of commercial and industrial (C&I) and utility-scale pipeline of solar projects across the United States.

“We are pleased to work with Soltage and Republic in providing the capital to support the innovative siting, delivery and construction methods for solar projects that will provide many years of clean energy for Massachusetts,” said Rob Gregor, Managing Partner of Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Military base landfill in Kentucky capped with 1.9 MW solar array from Suniva

A capped landfill at the Fort Campbell military base in Kentucky added 1.9-MW solar array, powered by Suniva, which helped turn 10 acres of retired landfill into a clean energy generating solar farm. Solar arrays atop capped landfills are an innovative way to provide power while leveraging brownfield sites. Here are some tips for approaching such a project.

Suniva“Solar arrays such as this one at Fort Campbell serve as a two-fold solution: enhancing the foundation of the energy security for our nation’s military bases, while at the same time, providing a sustainable benefit on previously unusable waste land,” said Matt Card, executive vice president of commercial operations. “Beyond this application for our military, Suniva’s products are an ideal fit for landfill reclamations such as this. Because of the strict environmental regulations of building on a landfill, the infrastructure costs are typically higher than average. The high power density of our modules helps reduce the overall racking footprint of these systems.”

The project is a result of collaboration between Fort Campbell, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, and Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation. Pennyrile Rural Electric and Fort Campbell worked with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet in securing a grant for $3.1 million for this renewable project, and Pennyrile financed $1.9 million as a part of a Utility Energy Services Contract with Fort Campbell to pay for this project. Suniva worked with power management company Eaton, which provided engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) services as well as a range of electrical balance of system solutions for the first phase of the solar array at Fort Campbell.

“The solar project at Fort Campbell will help address the presidential mandate for federal agencies to meet 20 percent of their electricity needs through renewable energy sources by 2020,” said John Stampfel, vice president and general manager, Electrical Engineering Services and Systems Division, Eaton. “With our expert engineering resources, balance of systems solutions and project collaborators, including Suniva, Eaton is well positioned to help the U.S. Army achieve its net zero energy goal through the development of secure, domestic and renewable energy resources.”

— Solar Builder magazine

WATCH: PSE&G debuts community solar project in N.J. landfill

We here at Solar Builder get excited about the possibilities of community solar. So, if there is news about a new community solar project, we will likely try to run it. This latest story comes from Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) in New Jersey (check out their blog):

A 12.93 MW DC L&D Solar Farm was just completed, spanning more than 50 acres (and 140,000 panels) and will be the largest solar farm that PSE&G has built to date when it goes into service later this year.

RELATED: Mounting Challenges: Landfills, Brownfields, Water-Saturated Sites 

PSE&G worked with the N.J. Board of Public Utilities to reclaim unusable land in the state, converting more than 150 acres of landfill or brownfield space into clean energy producing solar farms.

Be sure to watch the video above for the full story.

— Solar Builder magazine