Solar power is helping out the environment in more ways than one. In addition to producing green electricity, solar energy is helping to cure brownfields, or industrial or commercial properties that have been compromised by environmental contamination. The worst of these plots of tarnished land have been designated for special attention by the EPA as part of the
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wind, solar, and biomass facilities comprise only a little more than two percent of the nation’s electricity. But renewable energy production is anticipated to increase by 70 percent or more by 2030. Finding affordable land in areas with the resources to support new renewable energy plants is the biggest challenge.
Now, as part of the EPA’s RE-Powering America’s program, the agency is taking a multi-level approach to cleaning up and developing contaminated land, such as polluted former industrial properties, or “brownfields,” for the development of wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy facilities. In addition to brownfields, the EPA has identified close to 15 million acres of Superfund sites, abandoned mines, and federal facilities, all of which are among the county’s most contaminated lands.