Today marks the long awaited completion of the Camp Pendleton solar power installation supporting electricity generation atop a landfill, the US Marine Corp’s largest solar installation, a 1.4 megawatt system capable of producing 2,400 megawatt-hours each year, enough to power 400 homes which could save $336,000 annually in power costs.
The project cost $9.4 million and according to Pew Environment Group research, the US Department of Defense has “set a goal of producing or procuring 25% of its electric energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.”
This solar project does more than reduce bills and meet the government’s green goals, it marks a trend toward repurposing the previously un-repurposable (yes, that’s a made up word). Landfills are often seen as a community nuisance, and in the past, buildings have been built on top of them which hasn’t always produced the desired stability- just ask the Fort Worth hospital that was built on a landfill, sunk into the ground and ended up being condemned and torn down shortly after opening.
Landfills don’t have to be a nuisance, they can be the site of future solar farms as proven by the Marine Corps. They can host other alternative energy options as well rather than just remain a bane on the neighborhood.
Would you say no to a landfill in your subdivision if in a few years it was slated to be a solar farm capable of powering the entire area? Some people have mixed feelings on it regardless- what do you think?