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Solar On Brownfields


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Presented to the California Redevelopment Assoc. Brownfields Committee at Quarterly Meeting - 12/3/09

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Solar On Brownfields

  1. 1. Solar Power Production on Brownfields CRA Brownfield Committee Meeting 12/3/09 Chris Nelson National Partner, Brownfields SCS Engineers
  2. 2. Context <ul><li>Executive Order S-3-05 (California Governor Schwarzenegger) - June 1, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>CA will reduce Greenhouse Gases to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2000 levels by 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1990 levels by 2020 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>80% below 1990 levels by 2050 </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Challenge 1990 Emission Baseline ~173 MMT CO 2 E Reduction 80% Reduction ~341 MMTCO 2 E
  4. 4. Context <ul><li>What’s driving interest in Alternative Energy (“AE”)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(California) AB 32 The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oil prices fluctuating around $80/bbl or higher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire for Energy Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Green Economy drivers such as </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clean tech/green jobs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability initiatives and mandates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government programs such as </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Renewable Portfolio Standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Renewable Energy Credits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Investment Tax Credits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feed In Tariffs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Federal Programs <ul><li>Department of Energy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brightfields </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental Protection Agency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RePowering America’s Lands </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. DOE “Brightfields” <ul><li>According to : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brightfields is a revolutionary concept that addresses three of the nation's biggest challenges - urban revitalization, toxic waste cleanup, and climate change -- by bringing pollution-free solar energy and high-tech solar manufacturing jobs to brownfields. The Brightfields approach offers a range of opportunities to link solar energy to brownfields redevelopment and thereby transform community hazards and eyesores into productive, green ventures…… </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Brightfields <ul><li>DOE’s Brightfields also promotes the concept through the following measures: </li></ul><ul><li>Solar Technology (PV) development ($51.5 million) to improve efficiencies of Solar PV technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Solar Energy Deployment ($40.5 million) </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Research & Development (R&D) </li></ul>
  8. 8. RE-Powering America’s Lands <ul><li>Joint EPA and NREL effort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EPA launched RE-Powering America’s Land in 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognized the potential Alternative Energy (AE) development opportunities of certain EPA tracked sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brownfields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Superfund and CERCLIS sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abandoned Mine Lands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RCRA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To date, have mapped over 16 million acres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>850,000 acres of these are sites undergoing long term O&M </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Why AE on EPA Mapped Sites? <ul><li>Many of these sites offer: </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate Zoning </li></ul><ul><li>Existing infrastructure - transmission lines, roads and railway </li></ul><ul><li>NIMBY issues may be less prevalent </li></ul><ul><li>Siting renewable energy on these sites may: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase economic value for the property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further environmental sustainability by maximizing land use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have lower overall transaction costs compared to greenfields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce the stress on greenfields by reusing these sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide clean energy for use on-site, locally, and/or to utility grid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create local jobs for development and operation of renewable energy facilities </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Map Tool Details <ul><li>Google Earth Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Joint EPA-NREL venture produced interactive maps </li></ul><ul><li>Mapped EPA inventory of EPA tracked sites </li></ul><ul><li>Abandoned Mine Lands </li></ul><ul><li>Brownfields </li></ul><ul><li>RCRA </li></ul><ul><li>Superfund </li></ul><ul><li>National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wind, Solar and Biomass Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure Data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Highways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. States </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. National Transportation Atlas Railroads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transmission Lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The distance EPA used to determine feasibility was within 10 miles, so clearly some refinements to the tools are warranted </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Google Earth Tool
  12. 12. Solar Generation and Brownfields <ul><li>Solar Generation Facilities provide an excellent opportunity for re-use of brownfield sites: </li></ul><ul><li>Specific brownfield sites that are suitable for solar generation include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capped, retired landfills - Support 1-5 MW of solar generation in addition to methane capture; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large parking lots, airstrips, etc. – Provide an ideal & level building surface without the need to remove the asphalt; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retired and active mines (specifically tailings fields) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enable onsite generation for a large electricity user </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates a positive re-use of a degraded property; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No air emissions, limited water use and no generated waste fuel </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Nuts and Bolts <ul><li>Considerations for Solar on Brownfields and closed landfills </li></ul><ul><li>Choose older sites (20-30 years post closure) where much settlement has occurred </li></ul><ul><li>Cleared sites with shallow south facing slopes, flat areas ideal </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate stormwater controls into construction (account for channels being covered by panels and adjust) </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining the integrity of top liners, either synthetic or natural </li></ul><ul><li>Landfill gas collection system components (on landfills) or groundwater pump and treat systems may restrict the use of some areas </li></ul><ul><li>Cover vegetation removed for panels, there must be provisions to divert runoff so that erosion of a landfill soil cap does not occur </li></ul><ul><li>Solar panels can be wind collectors; sufficient engineering required to ensure panels and their foundations are properly anchored and will not be impacted by the elements (wind, snow, hail, etc.) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Nuts and Bolts <ul><li>Considerations for Solar on Brownfields and closed landfills </li></ul><ul><li>Permitting/entitlements </li></ul><ul><li>Financing, transaction issues </li></ul><ul><li>PPAs, power needs, Feed In Tariffs? </li></ul><ul><li>Uses for power on site/proximity to the grid/transmission lines </li></ul><ul><li>Renewable Energy Credits </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Investment Tax Credits </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><li>Increased positive community relations opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Clean energy generation/GHG emission reductions </li></ul><ul><li>Off set perpetual monitoring costs over time with sale of electricity or reduction in energy costs on site </li></ul><ul><li>Put unproductive sites back into productive use </li></ul>
  15. 15. Example Projects <ul><li>Ft. Carson, CO </li></ul><ul><li>Closed Army Landfill </li></ul><ul><li>Axio Power installed rigid solar panels on the landfill deck </li></ul>
  16. 16. Example Projects <ul><li>Brockton, MA Brightfield project </li></ul><ul><li>UniSolar Flexible Thin Film Solar panels on Tessman Road LF recently closed cell – San Antonio, TX </li></ul><ul><li>Allied Waste/Republic LF </li></ul>