Republic Services, which owns Hickory Ridge, is closing the landfill and turning it into a solar farm, using $2 million in federal stimulus money, a new kind of solar panel and help from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority.
When finished this year, it will be the biggest single producer of solar power in Georgia and the state's first landfill solar farm, according to both the company and GEFA, which awarded it $2 million in stimulus money last year, after a competitive bid.
"Georgia is a very good state for solar energy," said GEFA spokesman Shane Hix. "We'd like to see this used as an example of what can be done with landfills across the state."
Republic first tried out the technology in San Antonio, at a site a fraction of Hickory's size.
Then it "went looking for larger scale sites," said Republic engineering manager Tony Walker.
Republic wants solar caps to become a legitimate alternative to closing landfills in the usual way, which requires layers of dirt and vegetation on top.
There's a benefit to Republic. The solar landfill cap saves maintenance costs. "It's a landfill closure system that maintains the gas inside, keeps the water out and produces renewable energy," Walker said. "And it's very economical for us."
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
From Land Fill To Solar Power Generation Plant
Big metro Atlanta landfill to become solar power plant