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After Trash, The Sun

Landfill Solar Innovative idea would use old dump for solar power

The Hartford Courant

April 13, 2011

The generation of solar energy requires open space, enough to lay out solar panels. Such spaces can be hard to find in cities, but Hartford has one the former landfill in the North Meadows.

The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, which operated and is now closing the landfill, has proposed a solar installation on part of the 35 acres in the northeast corner of the dump near the Connecticut River dike, the last part of the 96-acre facility to be closed.

At present, an 18-inch layer of soil is being placed over the dump. If traditional closing procedures were followed, a membrane would be placed over the soil, then another 18 inces of dirt, then topsoil and vegetation. But a solar installation could go right over the first layer of soil, a CRRA spokesman said. It would generate about $75,000 worth of electricity a year, enough to power 1,000 homes.

At a time when other forms of energy get more problematic by the day, every solar installation helps. This is a great idea, and it appears to have city support. It would not interfere with plans to use the majority of the elevated landfill for such things as passive recreation or a greenhouse. The city and the state Department of Environmental Protection must approve the idea, and certainly should give it serious consideration.

A small amount of electricity is now generated from the methane gas in the landfill. The methane will eventually run out. The sun, hopefully, will not.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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