US considers renewables on contaminated sites
The USA is looking at the potential for using blighted sites for renewable energy production.
The EPA and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are looking at the potential for developing renewable energy production on Superfund contaminated land sites, brownfields, and former landfill or mining sites.
While similar state-wide initiatives have been considered in the past this is the first time federal bodies have looked at the potential for these sites on a national level.
EPA is investing more than $650,000 for the project that pairs EPA’s expertise on contaminated sites with the renewable energy expertise of NREL.
The project will look at the potential development of wind, solar, or small hydro development at 12 sites – including one in Puerto Rico.
The analysis will include assessing the best technology for each site, potential energy generating capacity, the return on the investment and the economic feasibility of the renewable energy projects.
Some of the sites under consideration for renewable energy projects have completed cleanup activities, while others may be in various stages of assessment or cleanup.
The sites are located in California, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The project is part of the RE-Powering America’s Land initiative, which aims to cut the amount of green space used for development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide health and economic benefits to local communities, including job creation.