There are more than 100,000 closed landfills in the U.S. providing thousands of acres of property that could be used for renewable energy development. Atlanta’s Hickory Ridge landfill that was once a pile of waste has been given 10 acres of solar panels to provide more use to the property.
The solar panels are lined with 7,000 flexible solar strips that produce one megawatt of energy. Beneath the solar panels are gas pumps in the ground that collect methane gas that is also used for power production and the liner is designed to keep water out and methane in. Although installing the solar panels is somewhat expensive, the solar liner makes up for the costs in regards to maintenance.
There are other solar landfill projects currently underway in an effort to remove the waste that we produce in a cost-efficient way.