Underutilized sites could unleash gigawatts of clean energy
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are approximately 490,000 sites and almost 15 million acres of potentially contaminated properties nationwide. A new tool from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) tests these underutilized, contaminated lands for solar and wind energy potential.
Leveraging NREL's knowledge of renewable energy technologies and EPA's experience in returning contaminated lands to productive use, the alternative energy ‘decision trees,' as they are called, provide a way to evaluate sites without the need for technical expertise.
Tapping into sun and wind power at brownfield sites, commercial and industrial roofs, parking lots, landfills, hazardous waste sites and abandoned land could unleash gigawatts of clean energy for use on-site or for the utility grid.
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