New Life for Defunct Landfills

By Peggy Hammond    May 25, 2018

ISS is working diligently to secure America’s renewable energy future by building utility-scale solar farms; as industry leaders, we are always interested in news of our profession’s success stories and continued growth.  When we hear of unused, and possibly problematic, land being chosen for and turned into a solar facility, we celebrate that progress.  Using a closed landfill for a solar facility is a practice that redeems a parcel of land that otherwise might sit untouched for the foreseeable future.  Even though ISS does not work with this type of solar project, known as brownfield, various states have tuned to this land-use strategy, and recent news highlights promising developments in New York and Ohio.

Troy, NY, is home to a 2.1MW suite of six solar installations, one of which is sited on top of a former landfill.  The completed array is 603kW, but there are additional plans for a second project at the landfill, one with a capacity of 2.7MW.  The city hopes this second project will be finished by the end of 2018.  Once the 2.7MW site is operational, the city of Troy will receive 40 – 50% of its electricity from the entire solar suite.

New York is not the only state repurposing a closed landfill.  April 2018 saw the transformation begin for turning a 17 acre section of a former landfill in Brooklyn, OH, into a 4MW solar facility.  Cuyahoga county, home to this new facility, boasts 70 former landfills, all of which might have the potential for transformation into solar farms.  The Brooklyn farm is expected to begin producing energy by summer 2018.

Last year saw movement in landfill reclamation efforts, too.  In August 2017, Worcester, MA, turned a capped landfill and dump into a solar farm boasting an array containing 28,600 panels.  Occupying 25 acres, this facility was described at the time of commencing operation as the largest municipally-owned solar farm in New England.

ISS develops custom utility-scale solar farms.  We are committed to using the sun’s clean energy, and we are excited to bring this power solution to towns across our country.  To learn more about opportunities to work with ISS, please see our website at or call John Green (CEO) 828-215-9064.