Landfill to Become Solar Power Plant

In Georgia, the Hickory Ridge landfill is going to be converted into one of the largest solar power plants in the state. The landfill will be covered with an unusually tough liner, and solar panels will be added on top of that. The panels are less than a quarter of an inch thick and flexible. The reason the panels need to be flexible is that the landfill underneath them will most likely move slightly as it settles. The liner and panels will be sort of a cap on the landfill. The solar system will generate enough electricity to power about 400 homes.

“It’s a landfill closure system that maintains the gas inside, keeps the water out and produces renewable energy. And it’s very economical for us,” said the landfill’s engineering manager Tony Walker. (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Carlisle Energy Services in Pennsylvania designed the system. They specialize in single-ply membrane roofing systems. “These membranes have proven their performance, durability and longevity and are ideal for use in capping landfills. By combining Carlisle’s superior membrane products with flexible solar laminates, the SpectroPowerCap product is a cost-effective way to deploy renewable energy and cap a landfill with a single product,” said Geoff Slevin of Carlisle Energy Services. (Source: Republic Services)

The solar panel cap on the landfill will use dark panels so they don’t reflect light back at pilots who are using the nearby airport. Walter Brown, chairman of the Georgia Solar Energy Association said, “This enormous solar project will be visible from the air to passengers arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and will become well known to Georgians looking for clean energy solutions for our future prosperity.” (Source: Southern Political Report)

Image Credit: Georgia Solar Energy Association

Related:
Think Solar’s Gonna Cost You? Think Again
Why You Don’t Want to Send Batteries to a Landfill
Popemobile Could be Solar-Powered
Solar Panel Cost Could Be Reduced By 40%

69 comments

Meg G.
Meg G4 years ago

Brilliant. I believe us humans can pull ourselves out of the mess we have made with our creative thinking by using creative thinking.

Past Member
Dolly Navina L4 years ago

Kudos!

Vicky Barman
Past Member 4 years ago

thanks for sharing

jessica r.
jessica r4 years ago

What a great idea....it's not land that is environmentally sensitive or that can readily be used for any other purposes. Very creative. And, when you think of the number of landfills there are out there, it has great potential.

Mary L.
Mary L4 years ago

I keep wondering why the gas is left to dissipate instead of being harvested. I keep wondering why gas is wasted and burned at refineries, and it smells like skunks from the sulfur.

It's energy, why not use it instead of wasting it?

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago

Hurrah!

Frances Darcy
Frances Darcy4 years ago

Excellent idea.I wonder about the cost and would it be economically attractive for others to follow.

Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel5 years ago

excellent idea. thanks.

Pearl Lam
Pearl Lam5 years ago

Something big is finally happening! I'm so happy :')

Ecd F.
Ecd F.5 years ago

Those industry-leading light-weight thin-film solar laminate panels used in both the Tessman Road landfill project in San Antonio as well as here in the Hickory Ridge project in Atlanta are made by Uni-Solar Ovonics, a subsidiary of the Michigan company Energy Conversion Devices [ticker symbol ENER].

The E.P.A estimates there are approximately 100,000 closed landfills {ideally suited for similar solar laminate panel projects}.

This capping system eliminates weekly/monthly ground maintenance costs such as mowing...

Heavy class solar panels can not be ground-mounted without costly ballasts to prevent instability on settling ground. That's why Uni-solar's thin-film solar laminate panels are ideal.

FYI, Tessman landfill in San Antonio is exceeding recent 6 month output compared to same period last year. Why else would Republi do this Atlanta project, 7 times the size of San Antonio.

Republic's Project Manager, "More landfill solar projects to some."

The story as aired on FoxNews… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXkTLKhGLY0