Solar panels for brownfield sites

Contaminated land unfit for remediation is to be fitted with solar panels in a joint initiative between two US firms.

Opel Solar, and Truenorth Solar & Environmental have announced a strategic partnership to install utility-scale solar fields on brownfield sites across North America deemed otherwise unusable.

By installing solar installations on urban brownfield sites, the firms hope, to be able to ‘transform blighted, unusable areas of land into productive green energy fields’.

“Turning brownfields into solar fields represents more than just a tremendous business opportunity”, said Opel Solar’s chief executive, Leon Pierhal, earlier this month.

“It’s a way for both companies to give back to these communities, generate badly needed municipal revenues by generating green energy and help revitalize blighted and unusable urban land.

“At the same time, we see this initiative as another example of our strategy to enhance shareholder value by continuing to uncover new, expanded market opportunities for providing our solar technology expertise.”

America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that site cleanup revenue, for the companies doing the clean-up, can amount to approximately $6-8 billion annually as experts forecast that there may be as many as 4,000 brownfields in the United States, roughly the equivalent of 30,000 football fields.

Add in Superfund sites and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act sites and the total jumps to more than 14 million acres that could be redeveloped as renewable energy sites.

Luke Walsh

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