The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and launched two new tools designed to test underutilized sites and contaminated land for solar and wind energy potential. State and local governments, site owners, and community members can use the tools to help identify the most desirable sites for solar or wind installations from both a logistical and economic standpoint, without the need for technical expertise.
EPA estimates that there are approximately 490,000 sites and almost 15 million acres of potentially contaminated properties nationwide. Positioning renewable energy on these sites can increase their economic value, provide a sustainable land reuse option, create local green jobs, and provide clean energy for use on-site or for the utility grid.
The new tools can be used to evaluate individual or multiple sites, such as brownfields, Superfund and other hazardous waste sites, abandoned parcels, landfills, parking lots, and commercial or industrial roofs, depending on the technology. The City of Richmond, California is serving as a pilot community for development of the tools.
Direct links to the tools:
EPA will host a webinar to discuss these and related tools on May 22, 2012, from 2-3:30 pm EDT. For more information, or to register for the webinar, visit the webinar page.
For more information on siting renewable energy on underutilized lands, visit EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land website.