Rhode Island Building Solar Plants on Top of Former Landfills

An innovative and incredible use of former landfills in Rhode Island for solar energy purposes is presently being spearheaded by two major renewable energies companies.

Photo Credit: CME- ForbesSolar
Photo Credit: CME- ForbesSolar

CME , Hectate Energy, and many other supports in the area are bringing this innovation of plants on landfills to life. This is the second solar energy landfill project to be completed in a series of projects knowns as the Forbes Street Solar Project II (FSSPII). This second solar landfill project will be nearly identical to the first solar energy project, capable of generating 3 megawatts of photovoltaic energy and producing around 5.35 gigawatts hours of electricity per year. Based on the project’s location and the size of the solar plant altogether, this second solar energy project in the series for Rhode Island will produce enough energy to service up to 500 households in the area. 

The first solar landfill project was completed around 5 years ago in conjunction with Narragansett Electric Company, and was placed on top of a capped and abandoned landfill, which was in service up until 1979. Both Hectate and CME believed in repurposing the landfill site for a more productive use. These initial unifying goals led to the partnership between CME and Hectate and the continual involvement they have had as a unit in establishing newer, cleaner and more efficient ways of utilizing property and optimizing existing structure for solar energy construction purposes. 

The Power of the CME and Hecate Energy Partnership 

Preston Shultz, Hecate Energy’s development director told Solar Energy World last month that he is proud to be a part of a team that is using the latest in solar energy expertise and innovation to help solve the environmental and energy problems that have sprung from the consistent use of traditional utility sources in the past decades. Shultz continued on, stating that this latest solar energy project is just another proud addition to their portfolio solution-based projects, in which they are helping to advance solar energy implementation across the country. 

Additionally, CME is humbled to partner with Hecate to help bring the solar energy landfill projects to life. William Martin, President of CME Energy, mentioned several important factors that make FSSPII so influential for Rhode Island energy utility, but also for solar energy innovation as a whole. For one, the solar energy landfill project offers a brand new renewable and clean energy source via solar utility for consumers and customers in the region. Second, using a former landfill, a property which constitutes few other uses, offers a way to revitalize a space that in other circumstances may be deemed useless. Next, solar energy landfill projects offer a brand-new revenue stream for the city and state economies. Lastly, the solar project helps protect our environment, not only by reusing natual land space but with mechanisms that will ultimately help the planet heal. 

Recognized for Their Innovation in the Solar Community 

Grow Smart Rhode Island recognized FSSPII as an outstanding Smart Growth Project, being described as a solar utility innovation that offers a primary example of maintaining environmental integrity while also implementing new solar energy utilities and resources. Additionally, the Forbes Street Solar project, the first of its kind in the series, built back in 2015, received a Clean Energy Future Award, along with being named best renewable energy project in the state of Rhode Island. 

Even Carol Grant, Rhode Island state energy commissioner, expressed her confidence in the project and the smart use of former spaces for more productive means, like solar utility. She believes the work that CME and Hecate Energy are doing with landfills is an example for other solar utility and renewable energy companies to follow. Recyling former landfills to be made into solar energy production sites is essentially a win-win or the environment. Grant also is encouraged by the progression and implementation of the solar energy landfill projects, as they are in conjunction with helping Rhode Island reach their goal to grow clean and renewable energy supply in the state ten-fold by 2020. 





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