e360 digest


08 Oct 2009: Former Industrial Sites
Ideal for Renewable Energy Projects

The U.S. government has identified 4,100 contaminated industrial sites, covering more than 5 million acres, suitable for building wind, solar, and geothermal power installations. With concern about renewable energy projects being built on pristine lands, the construction of wind and solar arrays on idle
First Wind
First Wind
First Wind site in Lackawanna, N.Y.
industrial “brownfields” could be an ideal solution, according to federal officials. The Daily Climate reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Renewable Energy Lab will begin conducting detailed studies of some sites this month and will hold five workshops with state and local leaders, renewable energy developers, and conservation groups to discuss constructing alternative energy installations on brownfields. First Wind has already built a wind power array on the site of a former steel mill near Buffalo, N.Y., and officials also are looking at many other sites — from abandoned industrial facilities in Michigan to defunct mining sites in the West — as sites for solar and wind power arrays. “We love the brownfields for renewable energy development because it relieves pressure on undisturbed places,” said an official with the Wilderness Society.


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