Republic Services installs landfill cap system integrated with 1MW of solar PV near Atlanta

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What is being called one of the largest landfill solar energy cap systems and the first of its kind in Georgia has been dedicated near Atlanta. The 1MW system, installed by Republic Services over the closed Hickory Ridge landfill, accounts for 10 acres of the 45-acre closure system.

The cover features Carlisle Energy Services’s Spectro PowerCap, a dual-purpose landfill closure system that allows an owner to close its landfill and also generate some 1 million KWh of renewable power per year via integrated arrays comprised of nearly 7000 Uni-Solar silicon thin-film laminate modules.

The system features Carlisle's three-ply, scrim-reinforced GeoTPO Geomembrane that serves as both the closure system and platform for the integrated PV. GeoTPO was developed exclusively for exposed geomembrane solar cap or geomembrane cap applications as both a long-term and final landfill closure solution.

The solar panel area, which is located on the landfill's south slope, is configured to allow access to landfill utilities such as landfill gas collection wells, while also incorporating cost-effective wiring and efficient electrical operations, the company said.

The entire array of panels and their accompanying infrastructure are installed on the exposed geomembrane to produce year-round renewable electricity during the 30-year postclosure long-term care period and beyond.

The new solar cover will be complemented by a soon-to-be installed landfill gas-to-energy project.

The roughly $5 million investment by Republic is being offset by a $2 million grant of federal stimulus money awarded through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. Georgia received $82.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for state energy-efficiency and renewable energy programs.

"This is a technologically advanced solution that is actually very simple at its core," said Bob Boucher, senior VP of operations for Republic. "Given the choice of covering the site with clay and soil, or flexible solar panels, we made the choice that not only caps the landfill with an environmentally safe technology but also produces enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 224 homes."

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