Building renewable energy projects on contaminated land has to be one of the best ideas I have seen in years, such as utilizing Brownfield and Superfund sites to build solar and wind energy farms. Recent completed renewable energy projects on contaminated lands like these have proven the enormous potential not only for profit for developers but also for making previously unusable land viable and productive. There are thousands of sites like these all over the country, imagine converting into producers of renewable energy.
Corporations are one of the biggest drivers of the move to renewable energy with nearly 200 now committing to be 100% renewable as RE100 partners. Local and state governments are putting initiatives in place to give incentives and rebates for renewable energy projects as well. The federal government also has tax rebates and incentives for solar and wind projects.
Why Utilizing Contaminated Land For Renewable Energy Projects Is Smart
For starters, contaminated lands such as those designated brownfields or Superfund sites are infinitely less expensive than usable land such as agricultural areas. It also makes far more sense than buying a forested area and cutting trees down which kind of goes against the whole concept of being environmentally conscious.
In short, contaminated lands are generally already zoned commercial or industrial and have infrastructure in place such as access roads, power and substations. In addition these properties can be bought for a fraction of what a non-contaminated site would be. There are state and federal brownfield tax incentives available that make these types of projects even more attractive.
Utilizing contaminated sites for renewable energy projects means that other lands are left as is while cleaning up previously unsightly areas and making them productive. This helps to get support from local communities as property values increase, revenue from taxes goes up, and the cost of energy is reduced.
Before diving into building a renewable energy project on contaminated lands due diligence must be done to determine if there truly is potential for renewable energy as well as making sure that it makes sense from a financial standpoint. The site must have a large enough area of usable space to be profitable and close to transmission lines to be able to move power onto the grid.
Land-use exclusions and restrictions against building solar energy farms or wind turbines could be in place in some areas which would preclude such a development so you want to be sure that your plan isn’t in conflict. In cases such as this it would be prudent to speak to community leaders and lay out the benefits of a renewable energy project on contaminated land would offer.
A thorough investigation of the type of contamination at the site is needed prior to even considering a project. Some sites may be so contaminated that they would take years of clean up before they could even be used, others such as landfills, could be built upon right away if it has settled already. In making decisions about potential sites it can be helpful to consult the information the EPA has put together to help developers decide whether a site is viable or not for wind or solar.
Make sure that you will not be held liable under federal or state cleanup laws. Many states have cleanup programs that protect new property owners from liability for contamination that existed prior. It is imperative to retain an environmental lawyer that can help you through the process and keep you protected.
In closing, it is best to get your renewable energy project started as you are beginning the cleanup process so that you can work with any community leaders and government agencies that may oversee the site from the very start. You may even be able to incorporate your project into the actual site remediation instead of having to build outside of it or on it.
ClearWorld Solar LED Lighting Solutions can be perfect for a project like this as these solar lighting systems can be completely off grid if necessary and could provide lighting in remote areas.