Traditionally, when you think ‘landfill,’ the first images that come to mind are not of rolling green pastures and brighter days ahead. That may soon shift, however, as groSolar, a leading utility-scale solar generation company, seeks to convert a waste dump to a 3.5 megawatt solar farm. If successful, this project could provide a model for spreading solar energy installations to more places around the country.
According to the Charleston Regional Business Journal, a 35-acre landfill, that was once used as a county and hospital dump site in Spartanburg, SC, will soon become a new solar development and distribution facility. The Arkwright Landfill Solar Project is a partnership between groSolar, ReGenesis – a community redevelopment initiative spearheaded by SC State Representative Harold Mitchell, and Duke Energy. It is an outgrowth of the latest convening of the Clinton Global Initiative, and once complete, will provide enough energy for 500 residences in Spartanburg.
An estimated $7 million project, $4.5 million has already been raised from private sources to fund the effort, and groSolar is partnering with Duke Energy to establish interconnection agreements and secure the additional $2.5 million needed to complete the transition.
Beyond providing new sources of clean, renewable energy, the project will help provide jobs and reduce carbon emissions. “According to the Clinton Global Initiative, the new project will offset emissions ‘equivalent to removing 800 cars from the road and 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the environment,’ based on reporting from the Charleston Business Journal. “An estimated 50 jobs will be added from the project that will install nearly 12,000 solar panels on the former dump site.”