New Project Seeks to Turn 500,000 Polluted Sites Into Renewable Power Hotspots

Russ Ferriday/CC BY-SA 2.0

Here's a rare, indisputably good idea: Turning unused polluted or contaminated land into sites for renewable energy production. A collaborative project from the DOE and EPA seeks to streamline the process for doing exactly that.

The EPA calls the project RE-Powering America's Land, and notes that the "initiative identifies the renewable energy potential of these sites and provides other useful resources for communities, developers, industry, state and local governments or anyone interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development."

The toolkit will prove useful to businesses, individuals, and municipalities alike, and should help foster speedier renewable power deployment across the half-million polluted sites out there.

Bloomberg reports that the two agencies are focused on new tools for "evaluating commercial and industrial rooftops, parking lots, and contaminated lands for solar and wind energy potential." And such tools could prove immensely useful, given the sheer number of vacant contaminated sites around the nation. Bloomberg continues:

The tools, which include solar and wind "decision trees," will help state and local governments and landowners to identify the best sites without technical expertise, according to EPA. EPA estimates there are 490,000 contaminated sites covering almost 15 million acres across the United States, in both urban and rural areas. Reusing this land for renewable energy projects could provide economic and other benefits.
Obviously. Turning economic and aesthetic black holes into productive clean power sources is as win-win as it gets.

Tags: Clean Energy | EPA | United States