Solar Power Panel Arrays for Landfills
Solar power, the process of converting sunlight into electricity, is one of the greatest sources of renewable energy available to us today. While commercial companies were slow to adopt this technology since its initial development in the 1980s, solar power panels have become an increasingly popular way to generate power for businesses as well as for residential applications.
Solar arrays are available in various sizes and at the present time, solar power energy makes up 0.38 percent of the total electricity used in the United States, generating more than 15 million megawatt-hours. The main advantage of a solar power system is that it requires no fuel, lasts up to 20 years or longer and, aside from the initial set-up costs, there are fewer ongoing expenses, as regular upkeep is limited versus traditional energy sources. In addition, solar power does not produce regulated emissions during operation.
Since landfills are characteristically viewed as “dead space,” landfill-based solar power panels are becoming more prominent. Whereas an area that exclusively stores solid waste might be stereotypically thought of as an “environmental eyesore” to the general public, the addition of landfill solar panels makes it an income-producing asset even as it generates energy.
Designing and manufacturing environmentally friendly landfill applications within the industry for a number of years, Watershed Geo created ClosureTurf® as an engineered turf and geomembrane system that can be used in conjunction with the placement of solar panel arrays. It features a structured geomembrane that helps reduce landfill gas and minimize leachate production, and its unique cover system means that solar panels can function in an environment that mitigates dust, mud and grass maintenance issues, as well as eliminating the possibility of damage from maintenance equipment and vehicular traffic.
Furthermore, ClosureTurf‘s durable load-bearing platform enables full accessibility in relation to the installation, maintenance and replacement of solar panels in the future. Thanks to these types of installations, landfill solar power energy undeniably turns the liability of landfill closures into a positive asset.