Ohio County Ready To Reap Benefits Of Landfill Solar Project

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This month, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Public Power (CPP) and IGS Solar will begin construction of a solar project located on 17 acres of a 75-acre landfill site in Brooklyn, Ohio.

Estimated to provide over 5 GWh of electricity per year, the project will consist of 35,520 panels and be sized at approximately 4 MW DC – enough to supply approximately 5% of the electricity consumption for 16 county-owned commercial buildings. This is equivalent to powering roughly 500 residential homes.

Cuyahoga County, which has 1.3 million residents, will purchase 100% of the power through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with CPP, which will buy the power from IGS Solar.

IGS Solar signed a 20-year lease to use the land, and Cuyahoga County will have the opportunity to purchase the system before the end of the initial 10-year PPA term. According to the partners, Cuyahoga County could save as much as $3 million on utility bills over the next 25 years.

The array will be built on an otherwise unproductive landfill site, and the 20-year land lease will help the City of Brooklyn offset maintenance costs of approximately $400,000 over the course of the next 20 years.

“I’m proud of the work our department of sustainability has done in developing and executing this innovative project,” says Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County executive. “We are growing renewable energy production in northeast Ohio, partnering with the City of Brooklyn to increase economic and environmental benefits for county residents, and saving money. Our county is committed to projects like this one. The solar landfill installation, which is the largest in the state of Ohio, will reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions and develop our clean energy economy into the future. It is crucial that local governments take action to help solve our global issue – climate change.”

Working with Enerlogics and McDonald Hopkins, the team plans for the array to be online this summer. Because the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency does not allow for extensive, below-surface work on landfills, the developers will use a ballasted solar racking system so that the panels and supports rest on concrete blocks, rather than driven steel posts.

Nearly all the product and labor involved in the engineering, design and installation has been or will be performed by Ohio-based residents. The development and construction of the array is expected to sustain approximately 100 jobs in the region.

IGS Solar – which is based in Columbus, Ohio – will own, operate and maintain the project.

“Working with Cuyahoga County and the local teams to design this project that will help control the county’s energy costs using this renewable energy source has been a great success,” comments Patrick Smith, vice president of IGS Solar. “We look forward to being a long-standing sustainability partner to them well into the future.”

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